This weekend, I went with my two girlfriends Jenny and Andrea to run the Santa Hustle Half Marathon in Sevierville. I haven't been to Gatlinburg in a few years, so I knew it'd be a fun weekend trip. We headed out on Friday and found that our hotel room was quite nice. We had opted to not stay at the Wilderness Lodge where the race was being held in an effort to save some change. We made a good choice.
On Saturday, we went to get our race packets. We were super excited about our Santa hat, beard and shirt. It was going to be a blast to run in them the next day!
Then, we drove into Gatlinburg and had brunch at The Log Cabin. They have amazing blackberry crepes.
We wandered around Gatlinburg for a while and checked out all of the little shops. It was pretty cold, and I have been having some sinus issues. I can't say I was in the mood to shop, but it was fun to roam around and hang out with the girls... and taking some photos.
We visited a cat store in Pigeon Forge that I remember going to a few years ago. This sweet little cat climbed right in my lap when I knelt down to pet her!
We hit up the outlets, and I did buy a sweater at Banana Republic. We grabbed a yummy dinner at Johnny Carina's before heading to our hotel to watch a movie and crash.
The next morning we donned our Santa apparel and met up with Andrea's sister who was running the 5K.
Everyone was wearing the Santa items so we took off in a sea of red! Before long, we came to the first candy stop!
There were several candy and cookie stops along the race course in addition to the normal water/Gatorade/Gu stops. No complaints here. I even found a guy with a box of tissues once. Since I still had a stuffy nose, I was excited about this!
We all agreed there was no reason to push ourselves. We wanted to just run and have fun. All three of us ran together and chatted for the first 5 miles or so. The course was an out and back, and while there were a few long inclines, it really wasn't as hilly as I thought it might be.
Andrea and I ran the rest of the race together, talking and taking in the sights of Sevierville/Pigeon Forge... sights like this one...
The race actually went by pretty fast, and we crossed the finish line in 2:15:52. I'll take that considering I haven't really been running much lately.
The medal had Santa on it!
All in all, it was a pretty fun event. It's definitely the kind of race that I think is best to do with friends just for fun. It was a great reason to get away to the Smokies and have some girl time for the weekend, too!