Dec 21, 2014

Christmas Town Dash 8K Recap and Review

Last year I signed up to run the Christmas Town Dash 8K at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. Due to some unfortunate weather, the race was postponed a week, which meant no race for me. Luckily, I was able to defer to this year and recently got my chance to run.

Jingle Jangle Run!

I was really looking forward to this race. The race runs through Busch Gardens during their Christmas Town (hence the name + Dash) which is when they decorate their park for Christmas. Packet pickup was a breeze. There was no race day pickup, but we were in town for the weekend so we had no problem picking it up the day before. Pickup was located at a Dick's Sporting Good, which was easy, since it was the same as the year before. The swag was pretty good. You got a great long sleeve tech shirt (blue this year) as well as 50% off an admission ticket to Busch Gardens for 2014 and 2015. Oh, can't forget, a free Chic-fil-a sandwich as well. We also received a virtual grab bag, but it didn't include much in the way of deals.

This was a race weekend that the whole family took part in. While I was running the 8K with my sister, my wife and daughter were running the Chic-fil-a Running of the Cows Fun Run. This was originally going to be my daughter's first race, but due to the weather, her first race was this past July. However the fun part was both my wife and daughter could register for the fun run, which included their own personalized bib and a medal at the end.

Look at that speed!

The weather was a little chilly. It wouldn't have been as bad if it wasn't for the wind. As the race would go on, it warmed up but was pretty chilly pre-race and for the early portion. Luckily, my costume as Frosty included snowman looking mittens, which kept my hands warm. I was worried the course might be a little difficult, as I know Busch Gardens can be a little hilly. Overall, the elevation wasn't bad. There was a long hill at the beginning and some smaller ones elsewhere but most was just winding back and forth. The portion though the park was nice to see the decorations. While the race was during the day, I had still hoped that the lights would be on. Alas, they weren't. That was a little bit of a let down, but the non-light based decoration did not. I really enjoyed seeing the decorations. The "worst" of the course were the parking lot sections. Not because they were overly bad, but because there were a lot of loop backs, which to me always feels like "Hey, I know you're running forward now, but you'll be back." I was running the race with my sister, so we weren't running for time. We were running for enjoyment and paused to take a lot of pictures, as you will now see.

Enter the Christmas!

If Santa only knew what was coming...

A nice large tree.

Could not resist the speech bubble.

The green and gold was pretty.

Official time: 1:10:41

After finishing the race, there were Marines in dress uniforms to present our medals. The nice touch to the medal, being Christmas themed, it was also an ornament. This feels oddly appropriate to me as well, because for the longest time my daughter called my medals from the Disney Half ornaments.

Race Review

I enjoyed the race. The cost wasn't bad and included a great shirt.

Race grade: B

Check out my review on BibRave

Final Take Away

Was the race fun?

Did I like the displays?
Yes, but wish the lights were on.

Would I do it again?
Not next year but in the future, yes.

Have you run any Christmas themed races?


  1. Looks like a fun and festive race! I like that your daughter received her own personalized bib and "ornament" Does she have two now? :)

    1. Yep. She now has 2 races, 2 medals. Going to need her own medal rack soon.

  2. I like this series of races. I did the Run for the dream 8K in williamsburg last year and it included free admission to Busch Gardens. I had wanted to do this race too sometime!

    1. That race looks really cool. I've eyed that race as well, either the 8K or the half looks cool running through the historical areas. Just driving around the area looks like it'd be a beautiful run.