Where do I even begin with this race? The atmosphere, the organization, the music, the costumes, the runners, the volunteers, the cheering sections, the city; they were all incredible. This was my first Christmas race, and it will not be my last. ❤
Being a christian runner, my faith is everything. The Christmas City Classic 5-Miler and Candy Cane 5K benefits the Lehigh Valley Fellowship of Christian Athletes, supporting student athletes in Lehigh Valley middle school, high school and college campuses. It was a given that I sign up for this race, aside from it being the number one race in the Lehigh Valley, to spread the Lord’s message to the youth in our community. God is good, and it was evident in this race event.
Growing up, my dad lived in the next town over from Bethlehem, so I spent many of my childhood weekends shopping there, eating out, and attending the famous MusikFest! It is a place I’ve always thought about living and moving to. It had been years since I visited the beautiful town of Bethlehem. So many things had changed, but the images of running on main street were still the same painted picture I remembered from my childhood. The Christmas City Classic offered a 5k or a 5 miler through the beautiful city of Bethlehem. The 5 miler was a very scenic course, with some rolling hills ((and one not so rolling hill)) along the way. The 5-milers ran along Main Street in downtown Bethlehem, which was decorated for Christmas, and there were folks sitting out for their morning coffee cheering you on along the way. We ran across the Fahy Bridge, and headed toward the Bethlehem Star on South Mountain. We also enjoyed some time on the scenic Sand Island, running along the Lehigh River and past Bethlehem City Hall, and many of the historic Moravian buildings.
Not only did this race take me down memory lane, it allowed me to build new memories, and meet new faces. The running community has opened my life to new friendships and relationships that I will forever cherish. Enter Aubrey and Lauren, and an unexpected friend, Brittany.
You may not be able to see their faces, because they are rocking their costumes like no ones business, but Lauren (the Grinch), and Aubrey (Santa) are two inspiring souls. Not only are they amazing runners, but they are genuine people. Aubrey is a strong and wonderful mommy to a beautiful little girl, and Lauren is an unstoppable beast, training for her first triathlon. Both ladies have been such an inspiration to me on my running journey. I admire them, and enjoy seeing their posts about their journey’s with running. When we found out we were running the same race, I was so excited that our lives would cross paths. This year has been a year full of meeting the faces behind the accounts I admire most, and creating relationships with like minded individuals. I know our paths will cross again, but I want to thank them for taking the time to meet me, cheer for me, snap pictures of me, and make it feel like we’ve been friends for a while. If you do not follow them yet, you probably should. Aubrey’s IG name is running_with_aubrey, and Lauren’s is Lauren_runs_here. 🙂
The race swag was nice too. You could choose between the mug pictured above, or a long sleeve shirt. I am a sucker for long sleeve shirts, because I dislike short sleeves. I’m a weirdo and don’t like things stopping under my armpit, so I never wear t-shirts, and if I do, I cut the sleeves off. But anyways, I love long sleeve shirts. It is a cute one too!
I already cannot wait to run this race again next year. And for the race photos to come, because I had a lot of fun with this race. I can’t wait to see all the costumes I missed, and the pure joy this race brought everyone! Now it just needs some snow, and it will really be the race of Christmas spirit! 🙂
Thank you to the YMCA for hosting the event, and to the race coordinator for putting on a terrific time. Thank you to all the volunteers and policemen for blocking roads, directing runners, and cheering us on. What an awesome race! Well done!