What’s the most surreal thing you can think of doing on a clear but cold Sunday afternoon in November? How about running along Ayr’s sea front with 100+ other people in a Santa suit? Yep, today was the day of the annual Santa Charity Dash in aid of Ayrshire Cancer Support, and the four of us were part of it.
The course was around 5K long and totally hill-free, but perhaps best of all, the race kicked off at the very civilized time of 3pm so there was plenty of time for the traditional Sunday lie-in. Once we’d finally emerged from the safety of our warm bed our thoughts turned first to breakfast, then to preparation for the run. Beanie and Biggles felt that their prep time would be best served by a rigorous warm up run round the garden:
Meanwhile we got our running gear together. The entry fee for the run gets you a cheap and cheerful one-size-fits-all paper thin Santa costume, but the pants looked a bit on the small side so we decided to try them on before the race to avoid any embarrassing surprises. The costumes were a bit tight in places though we did fit into them OK, but they certainly gave our pups a shock when they came in from the garden. Beanie threw her head back and howled for all she was worth, then having got over the shock, ran over to Susan and promptly tried to rip the bobble off her Santa hat!
That’s not the first bobble that Beanie’s attacked. Earlier in the week I got a doggy Santa hat and scarf set from Poundland for Biggles (Beanie already has her own full Santa jacket) and almost the moment I came in the door she snatched at the poly bag it was in. I wrestled it free and called Biggles for a test fitting, then noticed that his little hat was bobble-free. I turned around and Beanie was lying on the floor with the missing bobble between her paws, tearing it to shreds.
A sombre moment for Biggles, who now faces life without a bobble on his Santa hat
It was justified revenge I guess; last year when Beanie first went out in her posh winter jacket Biggles peed on it. Anyway, I took great care to protect Biggles’ scarf from damage. Speaking of Biggles, he used Beanie’s distraction to launch his own attack on Susan’s Santa beard:
Since he was doing so well with the beard, Beanie decided to join in:
Once the preparations were complete (and Susan’s beard was an inch and a half longer) we headed off to Ayr to join the growing crowd of Santas at the amphitheatre – the starting point of the race.
Biggles wore his Santa scarf proudly, and Beanie looked great in her Santa coat so I squatted down to get a photo:
As I did so I heard a brief “pop” from down below, and when I stood up again things felt kind of breezy around my groin. Yep, my economy sized bum had torn the stitches of my one-size-fits-everyone-else-but-me Santa pants. Fortunately I had shorts on underneath, and anyway I didn’t feel that my dignity had been compromised because I was already standing around like a tool dressed in a Santa suit in the middle of November.
In due course the race got under way, and things went pretty well apart from a short stop for a Biggle poo. I could hardly hold that against him given that our roles had been reversed last weekend (see previous post) but he still bayed like crazy when I delayed us further by fumbling with the poo bag.
The race finished in the town center to the sound of bagpipes, and after collecting our medal and water, we found a good position to wait for Susan and Beanie. We didn’t have to wait too long; Susan had a decent run after being thwarted last week by cramped calf muscles. As they headed up the street towards us, Beanie – who up to that point had been very well behaved – suddenly went into “spider-beagle” mode. She darted about from side to side, stretching out long and low to reach something by the gutter. Pizza! Yep, she’d scored a chunk a of discarded pizza, and now she was on the hunt for more. Me and Biggles joined Susan and Beanie for their last few yards, but Beanie barely noticed. Anything and everything within range ended up in her mouth, and soon she lucked out again with a couple of prawn crackers. Not a bad haul for a little Beagle dressed in a Santa costume! She was a nightmare on the way back to the car, so we went part of the way via the beach – less to pick up there!
I have to admit that this experience has given me new respect for the real Santa Claus. He never complains about how itchy his beard is, never loses the bobble on his hat, and never splits his pants. Let’s hear it for Santa!
Here’s a little video of the highlights from the day: