This was my fifth running of the local Jingle Bell run. The first three years that I ran it, it was at Balloon Fiesta park. Last year they moved to Mariposa Park with an out and back section at the beginning, then a loop around the park. This year they changed it to be a three loops around the park with a little straight section at the beginning and end. It's the kind of terrain where you are either going up or down the whole time, no part of it is actually flat except for a short section right near the finish line. It's worth mentioning that the course also measured short. According to my Garmin, this is a 3 mile route, not a 5K. Here's the elevation chart:
- Despite being a very small event, maybe 150-200 runners and walkers combined, collectively everyone involved managed to raise $19K for the Arthritis Foundation.
- You could sign up as a runner or walker, with or without a dog. I believe this encouraged more people to participate than they would have if it was just a race.
- Our swag included a pair of running socks from Lady FootLocker. Husband gave me his (I guess he didn't want to keep the women's socks).
- Husband had a great race. His finish time was 25:17. That's a good couple minutes faster than last year and good enough for him to place 2nd M40-49. Really impressive because he's just coming back from a hip injury.
- The weather was great. Sunny, 40s, no wind. I wore capris and long sleeves over a tank top and was quite comfortable.
- Lots of people dressed seasonally. They had a band & music the whole time. The event oozes fun.
What didn't go so well
- All those runners, walkers, and dogs started at the same time. Since this was a three loop course, I found it to be very frustrating at times. Walkers are notorious for taking up the entire width of the path.
- I had a very mediocre race, especially compared to the recent events on dirt. Not horribly disappointed in my finish time, but not particularly happy about it either.
- Perhaps I'm getting spoiled, but I really didn't enjoy running on a hard surface this time (I have really liked those last few races on dirt).
- I was passed by a poodle. Wearing a sweater. I think that was more humiliating than the time I was passed by a chihuahua a few years ago.
Husband had a great race; I'm thrilled for him about that. I'll most likely do this one again next year, but perhaps I'll consider entering as a walker with a dog rather than as a runner. Short races on hard surfaces just aren't my thing anymore. I'd rather run on dirt or go longer (or both!)