Saturday, December 15, 2012

Jingle Bell 5k Race Recap/Review

This morning hubby and I headed out to the Jingle Bell 5k down in Southern York County. Oddly enough, it was right on the road you turned off of to get to his childhood home. This was our third Jingle Bell run, but we had done the Harrisburg one twice. Ugh. That was not one of my favorite races. It's two loops. That race made me realize that I don't like races that are multiple loops.

Anyway...this morning we got up and headed down to the race to pick up of stuff. We got there a bit early and had no problems doing packet pick-up. The bag for the race had a few nice items in it, we were handed a Santa hat (though with a corporate logo on it. Eh.), and a really fun long-sleeve tech shirt. The last two times we did the race, I wanted to do it because they come up with a cute logo for the shirt. The shirt however has been a regular cotton tee. This year it's a tech t-shirt. Fun!

It was a chilly morning, but that would be good. We lined up at the start line and as usual I started in the back...where all slow runners go. Without any warning the gun went off and the race started...uphill. This race was all hills. Crazy hills. That is what I remember about it the most (and because I ran it less than three hours ago...), the hills.

I hit the first mile marker at 12:02 on their clock (there were mile markers and clocks at every mile), but my Garmin said I was at 11:58. Oops. I'll state right now that throughout the week I had thoughts of trying to end the year on a PR, but eh. I decided this was just a go out and have fun run. I'm glad I decided that.

More hills were included in mile 1 through 2. It was kinda crazy. I kept going. I thought about running the whole race, then the hills got to me. So, I decided to run as much as possible and walk the steep uphills. It worked out ok. I hit mile 2 at 25:19 by their clock and 25:08 on Garmin. A pretty speedy 2 miles for me honestly.

But, then we come to miles 2 through 3. I know it's not physically possible, but I swear the whole mile was uphill. It wasn't, but the uphills surely outnumbered the downhills. I did more walking on this mile than any other. I just couldn't get the energy up to run the steepest hills. Which is slightly disappointing because I feel that if the course had been flatter on the last mile, I might have been able to PR it. Bah!

We turned into the parking lot where the race was organized, ran around the building, and up the final hill to the finish line. I honestly have no idea what the final clock time said as I crossed the line, but my Garmin said 38:48. Slower than I would have liked and about 10 seconds slower than last months Movie Madness 5k. :-( That's disheartening...

1. They had a DJ set up at the start/finish area. Kinda fun.
2. Shirt. I always liked their designs before, but they kicked it up a notch when they turned a cotton t-shirt into a tech shirt.
3. As always, the jingle bells for your shoes. :-)
4. The atmosphere because so many people dress up for the race!

1. While I loved the DJ, I wish he had played holiday music rather than random Top 40. It is a Christmas race after all.
2. So many hills...
3. No water stop on the course. I know it's only a 5k, but one stop would have been good.
4. By all the signs on the course, I thought it was closed to traffic. It was not, which was slightly scarey.
5. Post-race food tent. The idea of a tent on a cold day is a good idea, but it was so small and there was no real room to move around. It was a good thought, but execution wasn't the greatest.
6. Stop giving out Santa hats with corporate logos on them. No one wears them and no one wants them.

Overall, I find the Jingle Bell 5ks a fun idea. I enjoy running them because other than St. Patrick's Day races, I don't normally run any holiday themed races. Hubby is unsure if he'd want to run this course again, I would be ok doing so. The positive is we know how hilly it would be and would be better prepared. And it's a whole year away meaning potentially we'll be in better shape by then!


  1. Good job on a super hilly course! Congrats!

  2. Thanks! I like doing a Christmas race. It's always fun to get some exercise while being silly. :) I had on reindeer socks, red and green bell ponytail holders, my sparkly green headbands, and a red shirt. I wish I could have found my reindeer "May all your miles be merry" t-shirt from a few years ago. That would have been perfect!