“From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other – above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.” ~Albert Einstein
On Saturday evening I stepped out of the Virginia Beach Convention Center to a sea of Santas. Our running community had shown up to attempt to set a world record. Could we join together to set a new Guinness Book World Record for the most Santa’s to finish a race?
Lost in the crowd, I was one of 5,025 Santas that ran the five mile route along our coastline. The previous record was set with 4,961 santas. While I was lost in the crowd, I mattered. Every single one of us mattered. Together we set a new record.
While it may seem to be a silly task, showing up and running a race dressed up wearing a Santa Suit for the sake of a world record, the truth is it was so much more.
The truth is showing up matters.
The truth is we are stronger together.
The truth is life is better when living light hearted.
The truth is believing in the magic of Santa is what allows us to set a record: world records, personal records, and life records.
Every single person who showed up to the race on Saturday believed we had a chance at setting the record. By mile two when I was dripping with sweat and desperate to remove the hot polyester suit, I left it on. I kept running. I pushed through the last hot and hard miles because I trusted that every other person on the course was also committed to running in their suit. I could have slowed down. I could have stopped to embrace the lights on the boardwalk, the gingerbread stop, or the candy cane giveaway, but I kept going. As much as I wanted to set this record for J&A Racing, I also wanted to do it for me.
This year I have worked hard to believe in my voice and my ability. I’ve worked even harder to share them with my community. I’ve worked hard to recognize that even if lost in the crowd, my voice matters. Slowing down wasn’t an option (for me). Not today.
“Life isn’t worth living, unless it is lived for someone else.” ~Albert Einstein
While I was only one of the 5,025 Santas on the course, the record wouldn’t have been set without me. While my voice is just one in a world of billions, my world wouldn’t exist without it.
In the true spirit of the season, the more I love the better our world becomes. The more we show up, put on our Santa suits, push through hard, finish what we start, and chase down new records, together we will change the pulse of the world.
There are so many world records begging for us to beat them. Grab you Santa suit. We’ve got work to do. It all starts with one person believing, and it becomes possible when 5,025 commit and believe too.
As we enjoy the holiday season, ask yourself what you believe in.
Official finish time – 45:25, 642/5221, 39/461 age group
Splits – 8:52, 9:04, 9:07, 9:17, 8:47