The 2015 Hong Family Christmas Challenge is in the books! It was probably the most joyful HFCC ever. We ran it six days early because we will be traveling to Richland, Washington for Christmas. As we didn’t have the presents as motivation to run the challenge this year I promised that I would take anyone who finished on a special outing.
Danny – age 9 – set a new PR and reduced his time by 2:35 from 18:30 last year to 15:55 this year. He had this to say about the event: “I enjoyed it. Not one scratchy leg. My mom didn’t scream at me like my dad did last year. She was more encouraging than my dad who would scream at me constantly. But Dad OK because he is taking me to a movie tonight – Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Maybe being a year older helped. Didn’t really train or practice.” Danny and I went to Star Wars tonight to celebrate. Since he got a PR he also was able to have popcorn. It was his first PG13 movie and he loved it. Danny ran really hard and never stopped moving. He told me he used a special galloping tactic on the downhill and also waited for Kaylee to wear out on the downhill before pouring it on and passing her right as the trail portion of the race began.
Kaylee – age 6 – cut her PR in half from 40 minutes to 19:55. She was proud that she ran it in nearly the same amount of time as Danny did when he was her age and he only ran half the loop when he was six while she finished the full challenge. She had this to say: “It was good. Daddy did not yell at me. It was hard. Really challenging. I kept on running and didn’t give up. I ran so fast but I my heart was beating too fast and it hurted. I just kept on movie. I was ahead of Danny since I was trying really good but Danny ran so fast that he passed me but I cut Mommy off and tried to keep her behind me. I’m older so I could run the race faster. Because last year I was littler and I got lost last year with Aunt Becky.” For Kaylee’s outing she wants to go to Panera Bread and Cold Stone with her Dad. After the race Kaylee collapsed on the sidewalk from exhaustion. Although she also ran a bit extra because she was going too fast to stop at the finish line.
This year we all started together and Carrie ran with Danny while I ran with Kaylee and pushed Abby Jo in the jogger stroller. It was a bit tough to carry the stroller up and down some of the steps but I managed to keep up with Kaylee and not slow her down. Next year Abby Jo may be able to run some of it on her own!
Carrie was focused on cheering for Danny this year and ran it in 15:50.
I ran it after everyone else was done and set a new Christmas day PR of 9:46 vs 10:02 last year. I’m worried I ran it too fast to beat next year – but I was inspired to run really hard by the awesome effort of the kids. The all time record of 9:11 still stands.
I wore my latest trail running shoes from Brooks – the Pure Grit 4 and I loved them. They felt super fast. Good to know that they didn’t ruin one of my favorite shoes with the latest update.
Here’s a link to the course: https://www.strava.com/segments/9252247.
Here’s a writeup of the race from last year: https://whatsnextmatt.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/2014-hong-family-christmas-challenge/
Here’s the historical results and records: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13dp_a3nXdn3x1UwCJevdrtxGWU7lg-B-4ZvMaihWXWI/edit?usp=sharing