Last Sunday morning, I found myself on Midland Avenue in Montclair walking against a tide of hundreds of runners. This is not really unusual; Midland Avenue is a straight wide street that starts at Bloomfield Ave and runs about a mile north. As a centrally located, not-very-busy street, Midland is often the first leg of the races or fun runs taking place in town. This particular run was noteworthy, though, because most of the runners were dressed as Santa.
It was such a joy to come upon what appeared to be a local version of Santa Con, minus the bar crawl, and, as usual, it made me love this town all the more.
I didn’t take any pictures, which I now regret, but I stopped my own walk long enough to fully take in and enjoy all the intrepid runners who showed such holiday spirit by dressing up. It reminded me of a run in which I often participate in February: The Cupid’s Undie Run in New York City to benefit Neurofribromatosis research – also known as “the largest pantless party and mile-ish run in the nation.” (The 2023 New York Undie run takes place Feb 11, in case anyone else is motivated to run a mile in their skivvies.)
I looked up the description of last Sunday’s run and was not surprised to discover it was technically not a Santa run, but rather had a Coffee and Cookie theme where runners were invited to dress festively for whatever holiday they celebrate. The event description read:
“Eight days before Kwanza, seven days before Christmas, and on the first day of Hanukkah we will be running off the holiday craze and bringing in the holiday spirit and celebration.”
The Sunday run I ran into was an event organized by Fleet Feet (shout out to Montclair’s best running store) and Essex Running Club. But we also have runs sponsored by the local YMCA (shout out to Montclair’s big Y, always coming up with new ways to serve the community) and Rabble Rise Doughnuts (shout out to Rabble Rise, formerly Montclair Bread Company and one of the local businesses that very quickly figured out how to get fresh fruits and veggies to our community members during the early days of the pandemic). I guess what I’m trying to say is: it feels like “a thing” here for little businesses to create long-running traditions of fostering community – even in a big town like Montclair.
Of course, you don’t need to be a runner to make Montclair your home. You don’t even need to be a walker to put down roots here. You can get yourself from here to there in whatever way suits you in this very You Do You suburb, which is yet another reason I love Montclair.
If you want to talk about buying or selling or even running (which I have far less to say about), please do reach out: 973-809-5277