Tuesday, December 26, 2006


By: Gilbert Varela and Chris Quezada

After having delivered several billion gifts to children all over the world, Santa Clause (Angel *El Kenyano*) had enough energy to join the Wild Mountain Runner/Amarillo 2006 Christmas Run. If you look carefully at pictures of Santa, in order to get ready for the early morning Christmas run, Santa managed to lose 100 pounds going in and climbing out of chimneys. By the time Santa and his reindeers arrived at Griffith Park with a sack packed with dozens of tamales and champurrado, there were already scores or runners wearing Christmas red shirts and Santa hats ready to run.

By 7:45 a.m., the parking lot was teeming with excitement. By 7:55 a.m. the traditional team photograph was taken and off we went being led by old Santa himself. The route took the red horde through the Los Felix district until we arrived at the Bear statute, our traditional photo site. We then headed down Western until we hit Hollywood Blvd. and turned west towards Highland. Seeing Santa in full gear being followed by 50 taller than average elves, many curious and jolly motorists and bystanders honked and shouted out Christmas greetings ** not to mention a few Scrooges and sleeping drunks who might have shouted out a few expletives for having been awaken by the sounds of our chimes and cowbells.

After running approximately 3 miles, Santa, in consultation with his elves, decided to take photos at the Chinese Grumman Theatre. As we approached the theatre we were spotted by throngs of mostly Chinese tourists and immediately they began to take photos. Fascinated that we may be all part of a planned Hollywood act, they posed with the group and clamored to take photos with Santa and the group. Ernesto *Mostachon* Davila appeared to be the most popular with the ladies, one of them actually sat on him lap. This was one of the best parts of the run as little children eyed Santa with delight. I could not help notice the sparkle in their eyes. We then headed off to the Highland/Hollywood Metro Station. All rides are free on Christmas so we headed towards the Sunset/Vermont station.

On the way several of our female and male members (Guiellermo, Rosa, Donna and Chris) gave us a short but enticing dance performance that includes a twirling around a metal bar (!).

From the Sunset/Vermont Station we headed off to Donnas house. Climbing a short but steep hill we arrived at her Silverlake house (a beautiful house with a great view of the lake) and there we were treated to Donna?s hospitality with snacks, water, soft drinks, and of course ? Beer! Sergio Palomares, otherwise known as *Cuarto Marathon*, sang for us and after 15 minutes of rest, we headed off to Griffith Park. To replenish our body strength, tamales and champurrado was distributed by Santa Clause and some of his helpers. It was another wonderful Christmas Run!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to all runners and children around the world!!

Leonel Avalos and friend

(Leonel came in 1st overall at the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon 2006 with a finishing time of 2:27:24)

When Guiellermo is not training for 100 milers, he conducts classes for exotic pole dancing.

(Pole dancing in the train going 40 mph is not easy as it looks)

Santa's most wanted

Chinese theater (below)

Fern Dell

One lucky Santa

Douglas and Maggie

El Coach and his student Rosa

Mario, Rosa, and Douglas

Santa's Huntington Park helpers
Coach Paco's students

Santa's sssspecial helpers (oooh la la)

Seriously... that is one lucky Santa!


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