Santa Clause Half Marathon in North Pole and Hiking Angel Rocks

August 8th, 2016 | Posted by Erica House in Life

I covered 16 miles and 1200 feet in elevation this weekend. My legs are trashed, but I can’t remember the last time I had such a good weekend!

On Saturday I got up bright and early to drive over to Chena Lakes for my first postpartum half marathon. I haven’t been training much this Summer which is unfortunate since I have a marathon in 5 weeks! The marathon actually started as an all day hike so many people still walk it. My plan is to walk/run and just enjoy myself so I haven’t been following any formal plan. The Santa Clause Half Marathon was cheap ($30) and seemed like it would be a great training run for the full.

A few of the other Stroller Strong Moms were running it and thank goodness I had someone to run with.
north pole half marathon

As with most races in middle-of-nowhere-Alaska the race was very disorganized. There was no website, and every website that mentioned the race had different information. Most said it was flat and paved, but the course was mostly on trail. I figured we wouldn’t get much with a $30 entry fee but we didn’t get a shirt or a medal – boo! I was hoping for some super cute North Pole medal.

At least the views were gorgeous!
Half marathon 1

There were so many times I wanted to stop and walk but my running buddy and I kept each other going strong until the end! We started off with a 10:30 pace, and did the last half with more of a 11:30 pace, so our finish time was 2:22.  Half marathon

When I got home I had the worst migraine. I drank a ton of poweraide and water on the course so I didn’t think I was dehydrated. Whatever it was I ended up in bed most of the day napping and just trying to get over feeling nauseous. I finally felt better around dinner time and ended up eating an entire cheese California Pizza Kitchen pizza.

On Sunday Travis wanted to go on a hike so I figured it would be a great way to train for the marathon. The marathon starts off flat for 9 miles, then gains 3000 feet in 3 miles! We hiked Angel Rocks Trail and there’s about 1000 feet of elevation in the first 1.2 miles. angel rocks hike

Aside from frantically checking my son every two seconds for mosquito the hike was amazing. angel rocks hike 1

I would have loved to have seen more wildlife but there were so many people on the trail we probably scared everything away. We did see a grouse which is a cute (but apparently very dumb) bird. angel rocks hike 3

The views at the summit were incredible, but I was so anxious the entire time. The trail literally goes right to the edge of this cliff! I wouldn’t let Travis get anywhere near it with the baby. angel rocks hike 2

It took a full minute of convincing from Travis for me to climb up this rock to get a photo.
angel rocks 1

After the hike we headed back to town to have lunch at the Cookie Jar. It was literally the worst dining experience I ever had thanks to a family we were seated next to. First, we arrived after 1 p.m. and had to wait 10 minutes for a table. Not a huge deal. Then, it took FIFTY minutes for our food to come out! The restaurant was half empty! I had no idea what the problem was but poor baby was starting to get super grumpy by that point.

We were seated next to a woman with three young girls. This family was so disruptive to the entire restaurant I couldn’t believe a manager didn’t come out and ask them to leave. The mom continued to YELL at her kids to shut up so loud that all of the tables around us would go silent. The girls were running up and down the aisles, and kept trying to play with our son, and a baby at the table next to us. I normally don’t mind kids interacting with my son but these girls were literally two inches from his face being very loud and kept grabbing his hands and hair. I repeatedly asked them to leave him alone and that they could ‘play’ with him but please don’t touch him. These girls were probably between the ages of 5-10 so they should know how to listen!

The man at the table next to us took his baby outside to try and give him a break from these girls and the girls followed him outside! The mom didn’t even notice! A few minutes later the woman at the table next to us had to tell the woman, “mam – your kids are outside playing in the street.”

The food is pretty good, but after this I’m not sure if we will go back. On the way out I stopped to use the bathroom and there was blood on the toilet and the trash bin was so full about half of the contents were just thrown on the floor. So, so, gross.

The Cookie Jar 1 Despite some minor issues we still had a great weekend. We will be heading to Ohio soon so Travis’s family can meet the baby, and then my parents will be here in a month to celebrate his first birthday. I love having so many fun things to look forward to!

How was your weekend?
Have you ever left a negative review of a restaurant?

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4 Responses

  • Well the hike looks beautiful, but that dining experience was definitely not. Crazy!

  • Karen says:

    Congratulations on your half! If I remember from your last Ohio visit, you guys go to Xenia? I live in Wilmington, one town over, if you have a chance and want to run, let me know :) I can bring my son and we can stroller run!

    • Erica House says:

      I’ll keep you in mind! We will only be there for three mornings so I doubt I’ll be able to sneak away. Plus, the time difference means I won’t be waking up until almost 11 a.m.!