Jingle Bell Run/Walk For Arthritis

Sunday, December 13, 2015
~65°F, 9:00am, Legacy Village

This race was a little different for us. As K mentioned in a previous post, she couldn’t run a race in December, but she opted to volunteer at the Christmas Story Run and walk the Jingle Bell run. It only makes sense that this recap is a little different for us as well.

Our friend Lindsey joined us for this event to keep K company while she walked and R ran. We all met at K&E’s house at 8am and got to Legacy Village with plenty of time to spare, except we couldn’t figure out where packet pickup was (does anyone else have a whole lot of trouble figuring this event out? the website is not our favorite…). We finally got to LL Bean and waded through pajama pants, slippers, and elves to the pickup table that was not so conveniently placed among racks of clothes. By the time we got our shirts and packets, tossed the bags in the car, and pinned our bibs, we had to speed to the starting line. Familiar. 😉 K told R to RUN, which may have been unnecessary because there was a lot of talking before the race started, so it didn’t quite start on time.

This is where our experiences split.


I’ve never walked in an event like this before. It still felt good to participate and support the cause, but I was really itching to run. Luckily, I had Lindsey with me. As we chatted, the distance slipped by and before we knew it, we were at a ½ mile turnaround. But there was no one telling us that it was actually the place to turn around and no one was really turning around. Very confusing. We stopped, made our turn and headed back to Legacy Village.

I was kind of surprised how poorly organized the whole experience was. This is a big event and it happens every year, but it always seems like things are changed between years. BUT, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed over the years and that’s my age according to the race organizers. I was 23 the first time I ran this race and I remain 23 each time I participate in this event. I even got married in that time and when I registered for the next event, my name change stuck, but my age didn’t. Now, staying 23 forever doesn’t sound like the worst thing ever, but it was particularly frustrating last year when I was in the wrong age group – that makes a difference!

After 3 years of attending this race (I skipped one due to an icy sidewalk-induced back injury a couple of years ago), I decided I won’t be back. I hate to say it, and I hope this is not only the first time but the last time I do: I’m completely swearing off a race. (You may remember my frustration at the Shaker Lakes 10K, but I didn’t write that one off completely.)


I guess you could say I was pretty disappointed too, because in the rush to get from LL Bean to the startline, I couldn’t get my jingles on and I didn’t even jingle any of the way. Ugh.

I mean, I kid. Though last year, I did enjoy keeping my jingles on the rest of the winter.

Now speaking of winter, what strange weather for a Jingle Bell run. I mean, it was really kind of ideal race weather, so who’s complaining, but shouldn’t we have been covered in snow and sweat-icicles by the end of it? You’re so strange, Cleveland!

But the weather was kind of where the good feelings ended, for me personally. I came to this race not hungover, but instead sick as a dog. Seriously, ask K or Lindsey, I was coughing up a storm. And worse than that, just the day before I had overtrained a tad, and was recovering from some super sore legs.

All things told, the run wasn’t too bad. Strange though, knowing K was behind me and not ahead! Figures though, since her walk was a mile, that she’d still finish first 😛 I struggled a bit with the hill near the end, but eventually came in at a time I was okay with, all things considered.

End of race thoughts: We didn’t really want to head back into LL Bean. It’s a full store as it is. Add hundreds of runners and it’s the perfect place for an anxiety/claustrophobia meltdown. We grabbed waters and apples and walked toward the car. But not until we threw our apples away – after all of the strange organizational issues, we were served bad apples. Ugh. We’re not sure if there was more fruit hiding in the store, but it sure felt like a measly finish line treat. Give us all of the bananas!