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Race Recap – Ugly Sweater Run, NYC, Dec 20, 2014

ugly sweater run citifield bg

Apologies for this super delayed recap – I’ve been celebrating the holidays with my family (aka half my readership) so I haven’t been on my computer or doing anything more strenuous than eating too many cookies.


What was going to be an Ugly Sweater Walk With Four Friends became an Ugly Sweater Slog Through A Parking Lot Alone.  I signed up for this race because it involved dressing up, hot cocoa & beer, and was a silly theme race that was relatively short (5K).  As the date approached and all my friends dropped out (I hope more because of the $50 race fee and other assorted holiday obligations and not because they didn’t want to spend the morning with me), I began dreading this race more and more.  I knew the course was going to suck because it started and ended in the Citifield parking lot, the same location as the dreadful Neon Run.  My suspicions were confirmed when they sent us this course map.

Dreadful ugly sweater run course map citifield

It was as bad as it looks, plus it was too short (which was probably for the best).

So, my expectations going into this race were low.  I was doing a novelty race, in a parking lot, alone.  That’s never a good idea.  Plus, I had to take the 7 train out to Willets Point on the weekend before Christmas.  But I had what I thought was the ugliest Christmas sweater ever knitted.  Behold!

back of xmas ugly sweater

The design covered both front and back (shown).

The original race description mentioned prizes for the ugliest sweater, but I don’t think they actually awarded any prizes because I did not get a prize and I was clearly the ugliest.  Most people dressed up except for two girls wearing all-black Lululemon.  Ladies, why?  Why did you pay $50 to walk through a parking lot on a Saturday morning if you weren’t going to wear the most ridiculous sweaters possible?  Why did you wear your cold, black, joyless inside on your outside?  Why did take time off from your Basic B duties to go to Queens?  But mostly, why did you pay $50 for this particular race?  It’s a question I’m still asking myself.

dog in ugly cute sweater citifield

This guy wins cutest sweater award.

Ultimately, though, it wasn’t a terrible race.  The atmosphere was festive, they had several large inflatable holiday decorations (like reindeer and Christmas trees), and it was fun to see all the runners in ugly sweaters and costumes (or all-black Lulu).  There was no bag check and waiting before the start was really cold, but once I started slowly trotting through the parking lot I warmed up.  I did snag some hot cocoa near the end of the race, but I didn’t get the free beer because you had to stand in a huge long line to verify your ID, then get in another long line to get the actual beer, and it was too cold for any of that nonsense.  They also had several food trucks at the finish which also had long lines, but I probably would have stayed if I hadn’t been alone.

ugly sweater run arms up citifield

Shockingly ugly, no?

The best part about the race was that they had a lot of race photographers on the course and they offered all the race photos for free online.  However, nothing makes you feel lonelier and more foolish than running a holiday novelty race alone in a parking lot, but I’m glad to have lots of free photos to commemorate the experience, especially because it looks like I’m having a great time and that’s all that really matters.

Ugly sweater run swag

So the race itself basically met my low expectations, but the free hat met my high expectations and the free photos exceeded my expectations.  Would I do this race again?  Only with other people, and only if they promised to wear all-black Lululemon.

xmas cookies where's the finish

After the race I made these cookies. Nothing to do with anything, I just wanted to show you my cookies.


How was your holiday?!  Have you been as bad about running over the last few weeks as I’ve been?  Watching the ball drop tonight?  Share in the comments!