Last weekend, NDRC’s Matthew Walley finished first in the “Love2Stay Santa Dash”. Well done and huge thanks to Matthew for sending us the following race report!

We all have that race which we count as our “A” race: the one that you want to be in top form for, or have history with, and for me that came round on Sunday 12th December. 

I’ve done this race twice before and finished second both times, once being beaten by a guy I coach, and the other time by a 7ft Elf! So this year was going to be my year! This year’s training was all about making sure I was in tip top form for December. Training had gone well on the run up to the race, but then I got a nasty case of “man” flu and as I’m sure you men know, this can be very dangerous, and has to be taken very seriously, even if my wife doesn’t seem to think so!

With the Saturday arriving before the big race on the Sunday, I wasn’t feeling in top form and knowing that competition was going to be fierce, I needed to think outside the box. And as every good Santa knows, he needs his Reindeer to pull him along. For me that comes in the form of a labradoodle named Vixen. So me & Vixie lined up on the start line for Love2Stay Santa dash, me dressed in the Santa suit & Vixie with her flashing collar matching harness. 

Matthew Walley with Vixen the Labradoodle

The whistle is blown and off we go. Vixen starts quickly and pulls me along like she’s got presents to deliver to children on a certain good list. We work our way through the field and by the time we get to the first kilometre we are joint 1st with another runner pushing a buggy. Noting that he didn’t seem to be properly wearing his Santa hat, I was thinking of complaining to the organisers like a football complains to the referee over a penalty. But as it’s my brother, getting him and my niece disqualified might make a bit of an atmosphere for Christmas lunch this year so decided against it!

The battle for the lead!

After a bit of confusion over the route, we started to pull a lead on my brother & niece, and took the finish line in 18.33. Not our quickest time, as myself and Vixie did Western Park 5k in under 18min, but that wasn’t in a Santa suit!