There's just something festive about getting dressed in bright colors and/or festive costumes and pinning on a race bib.
The Jingle Bell Run 5K is actually a national event with numerous local venues across the United States. Affiliated with the Arthritis Foundation, all proceeds from the various events benefit those afflicted with arthritis as well as provide funds to enhance research efforts. This particular event took place on Saturday, December 1st, in Des Moines, Iowa (an hour from my hometown of Grinnell). For more information, you can check out the Arthritis Foundation website HERE to find a race near you or to make a donation.
You may remember that I ran this race last year (recap HERE). This year's race day experience was nothing like last year's (except for the fact that it was on the same course). Last year, it was a new event for me, run on a beautiful day with oodles of sunshine and pleasant temps. This year, Momma N turned on us...and decided she wasn't gonna play nice.
Let me set the scene...
The weather forecast was not looking good. In fact, it had not looked good all week. The projected rain, though, had been scaled back from 95% (as of Friday evening) to 60% by Saturday morning, so things were looking a bit better as we pulled out of town...hoping for that rain to let up by race time.
|Have ponchos, will (try to) run!|
There was no official mat to cross, but a blow-up arch to run under. We were told to "GO!" and the race began.
Holy Sleet And Wind, Batman! Most of the first mile was straight East, on Westown Parkway, into a fierce 24mph head wind, with sleet pelting us. I'm not one to brag (much) about my great ideas, but wearing the baseball hat under my stocking hat was a pretty genius move on my part. By keeping my head tilted down, the bill of the hat shielded my eyes (and most of my face) from the sleet.
Did I mention that this first mile was mostly uphill, and some of it was on a walking bridge? Yes, we not only had the wind and the sleet to fight, but gravity as well.
I just kept my head down and soldiered on, eventually clearing the bridge then turning south, onto 50th Street. WHEW! I had lost Barb shortly after the race began, but I spotted her, a short ways behind me, after the bridge.
With all the rain, the sidewalks were a mess of puddles. The next part of the route took us through a park, and then towards another bridge. This second bridge wasn't as steep (or as long), but did have a good incline to climb.
My tights had been saturated before we'd even crossed the start line. I could feel water sloshing around in my shoes well before the 2-mile mark. Yuck. It was a short while later that Barb caught up to me. I had been leap-frogging with an older gentleman, and she was able to sneak around us as I tried to pass this guy on the narrow puddle-laden sidewalk. I finally got around him in the final mile, just before the last bridge.
By this time, the sleet had turned to snow and we were back on the main road, headed towards the finish line. My poncho had been whipping around me in every direction. In an attempt to keep my arms dry, I had pulled my arms underneath my poncho and had been trying to "pinch" the inside of it with my gloves (yeah, #awkward) to hold it in place.
Barb was only a few feet ahead of me, and I tried to catch up to her as we crossed the last bridge. In the final surge to the finish line, my poncho swirled up in face, across my nose, as I took a deep breath (yeah, that was awkward, too). I caught up with Barb right as we crossed the mat....and just like that, we were done.
There was no finish line fan fare (because there were no spectators, thanks to the weather). A group of us paused for a few brief moments, as we waited for traffic to clear (so we could cross the street and head back to the post-race party). Everyone was talking about the weather, and how the wind and the sleet were so brutal.
We grabbed some pancakes and ate quickly, then we snuck inside the clinic and changed into some dry clothes and shoes in the restroom. On a whim, we went back to the tent, to see if the results had been posted...and saw that we'd both placed in our (10-year) age group. Although we had exact finish times (28:55), Barb did cross the finish line just slightly ahead of me. She got first place and I took second.
|Ahhh, in the dry clothing!|
We later learned that we were the first two women to cross the finish line. It definitely was not our fastest 5K finish, but the crowd of racers was not huge and the weather made for a tough race. We were just happy to be done!
Aren't these medals cute? I'm not really a fan of finisher medals for 5K races (since the distance is really pretty short), but I'm completely good with age group medals.
My thoughts on this event? Despite the crazy weather, this is a well-executed race. The total number of participants was low (no doubt due to the weather). The final results showed only 43 participants with finish times, but there was the option to not have a timing chip (for a lesser registration fee), so I don't think every participant was accounted for. I'm pretty sure there were a lot of DNS'ers as well.
As this post goes to press, the website showed just under $31,000 had been raised (from the Des Moines venue) for the Arthritis Foundation. Isn't that great?
For swag, we received long-sleeved red (cotton) shirts and shoe laces. Although I am not a fan of cotton event shirts, I do love the red color and the graphics are very eye-catching. Last year, we also received finisher medals, but I don't think they had those this year. No big deal. This event is a fund-raiser, after all; I'd much prefer the registration funds go to the organization itself than towards more swag for the participants.
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Sounds like you had to deal with some really rough conditions! I did a Jingle Bell Run a few years ago. It was fun to wear holiday colors and it was a good race, just not super close to home. Congrats on your award!ReplyDelete
Thanks!! This was a tough adventure, no doubt. Barb and I kept asking each other, "Whose ideas was this?" LOLDelete
Brrrr. I'd be worried about slipping in those conditions!ReplyDelete
The 5k I decided not to do last weekend was the Jingle Bell run, in fact. We actually had great weather, but I just didn't feel that racing or a hilly course was good for me right now.
Congrats on finishing 1-2! How fun!
Fortunately, it didn't start to feel the slightest bit slick until the final mile. The sleet/rain was crazy!Delete
Yikes! Thank heavens that race wasn't longer. I ran a half in those conditions and lots of people suffered with hypothermia. Congrats on going 1-2!ReplyDelete
That's exactly what I said as we were walking back afterwards...I was really glad this was "just" a 5K and nothing more.Delete
Yikes to the weather! Running this time of year is always a crapshoot. Sounds like you and Barb were the troopers! Congrats!ReplyDelete
This may well have been my most miserable race, ever. I'm just glad it wasn't any longer LOLDelete
Wow! What an adventure! You are a warrior. Great race and congrats on the 2nd place finish. Love the shirt.ReplyDelete
THanks! I agree...the shirt is really nice, too bad it's cotton (ha!)Delete
Wow, those sounds like some crazy weather conditions! Great job on toughing through that and winning those age group awards :)ReplyDelete
The weather was absolutely nutzo!Delete
Love your outfit for this race!! Congrats on a strong finish on a tough day!!ReplyDelete
This was some of the craziest weather I've ever had the "pleasure" of experiencing ;-)Delete
you 2 are #fastfriends way to tough it out under not so ideal conditions. I don't mind the rain at all in the warmer months but it is not fun when it is sleet.ReplyDelete
No kidding! I can tolerate rain when it's in the 70's...anything cooler and it's miserableDelete
I DNS'd my turkey trot because of those kinds of conditions. I can do cold, grumbling all the way, but not cold and rain and snow coming sideways. Congrats on your 2nd place!ReplyDelete
If the race would have been any longer, we may have not gone. We knew a 5K would be over and done pretty quickly, so we went for it.Delete
Momma N was a real jerk this weekend! You really dealt with some crazy weather - I give you so much credit for even starting the race, I don't know if I could have done it!ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness! That weather does not sound fun. It does make for a great recap though! Nice job on your AG place!ReplyDelete
We had a Jingle Bell 5k last weekend but I decided to skip it and run easy with friends. We had perfect weather. Too bad. I do have a fun one this weekend.ReplyDelete
Kudos on your finish time and not falling LOL
That weather sounds brutal! But at least you got some super cute swag!ReplyDelete
Congratulations! What tough racing conditions, and still you guys did a great job! We had a Jingle Bell run in Philly but it fell on a weekend that I couldn't make it. It's definitely a great cause!ReplyDelete
Way to go for running a race in that weather! I don’t like running in the cold. I don’t mind running in the rain if it’s warm but I hate the cold.ReplyDelete
I remembered that you did this race last year and thought about the big difference in race conditions. Kudos to you for getting it done!ReplyDelete
Great job for running the race despite the weather! I love that medal...Congratulations!!!ReplyDelete
Congrats on the AG award - but moreso on getting out in that weather! I've raced in rain, wind, and snow, but sleet is one I have thankfully not encountered.ReplyDelete
you are not convincing me to come to Iowa with all your crazy weather stories!!!!ReplyDelete
congratulations on the race - despite the time (which is great in my opinion), you and Barb kicked butt! 1st and 2nd in your age group and first ladies to cross the finish! BAM!!!!
I'm running sunday, it's not really a holiday themed run, but I'm going to pick up a santa hat and wear it anyway :D
Sounds like it was a great event minus the weather! I missed my Santa run last weekend but hoping to do my own Christmas run with some friends.ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness, what a challenging race! I marshal at our local jingle bell jog in aid of the local children's hospice every year; you'll have seen that on my lat week's round-up. I did try to do a festive race last year but it got cancelled: we were allowed to submit a 10k garmin file and still get our medal, once the snow had gone! I bought my expensive tights for that so they're going to get some more goes this year ...ReplyDelete
Yikes! Running in the freezing rain and wind like that really is brutal! CONGRATS on placing in your AG, that is awesome and I bet made battling the weather totally worth it!ReplyDelete
I always love the Jingle Bell runs! So fun!ReplyDelete
Way to make it through with the tough weather! I am not a fan of running in any rain! Yahoo for AG placing too!
Hope you have a fabulous week!
Congrats on placing in your age group! Yikes, those weather conditions are horrible but luckily it was just a 5K. :-) Love the long sleeve and in red. Yes!!ReplyDelete
Wow, the weather did not sound ideal for this one! But you kicked butt and raised money for a great cause. Congrats on the fantastic finish!ReplyDelete