Tuesday, January 1, 2008

5K Jingle Bell Run 12-31-07

My wife Pam, my daughter Kyrsti and I traveled over to the Canfield Fairgrounds today to run the Jingle Bell Run sponsored by the Boardman Rotary. As we were pulling in to the parking lot, we met up with my son Taylor and his friend Bobby, who runs x/c for McDonald.
(Bobby, Kyrsti, Tronk, Taylor)
I was also surprised to see Jay Layshock (Jay Lay) helping out by parking cars. Jay is a great runner who finished second this past year at the YUT-C 50K. I shook his hand, wished him a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and then the four of us went to check in. Pam does not run but acts as a great support crew holding onto everything, cheering for us during the run, and talking with all of her friends before and after the race.
This race is getting bigger and bigger every year. The first time I did this race was in 2001 and there was probably less than 100 runners. Since then, it has grown in a monster of a day and I would guess there were close t0 300 runners in the 5K and probably about 75 runners in the kids 1/2 mile. It was awesome. With the sounds of bells ringing, (each person can wear small jingle bells if they choose), it makes the run even more special. This was also the best weather I can remember at the Fairgrounds for this race. It was close to 40 degrees with only a slight wind. It was ideal.

The course itself is not fascinating. In fact, it is quite mundane. You run on the roads around the fairgrounds and basically weave back and forth and round and round. You do this loop twice, which is kind of nice because you come through the central area of people cheering twice before finishing in front of the crowd. It also lets you see other people in the race because as you are going one way, they may be going the other way. I got a chance to see my friends from work Tony and Jan and wished them encouragement as I went by.

At the end, I was satisfied with my time of 22:30. Just last month at the Firefighters 5k I ran 23:10 so I was happy to be a 40 seconds faster (although it was a completely different course). My kids both ran well and I think Taylor may have been slightly ahead of me (I am not sure as I never saw him). Here is a picture of Taylor running

I should mention one last thing about this race that brings me back every year. The swag for a 5K is tremendous. Each runner received a sweatshirt, a water bottle, coupons to Dick's Sporting Goods and a Power Bar. In addition to that, the after race refreshments are second to none, with cookies, donuts, fresh fruits, Power Bars, hot chocolate, coffee, Gatorade and bottled water. All of that provided by some of the nicest race sponsors and helpers you would ever want to meet. What a great day and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

No comments: