There were a lot of reasons that I originally registered for the Jingle Bell Run but this weekend things changed. As I’ve said before, time changes “almost” everything.
I was sick at the beginning of the week and by yesterday, Mr. Michael came down with a raging fever while I was out running. Our fun-filled Christmas themed weekend, the one that I have looked forward to more than any other this entire year,
bar the Shamrock Shuffle Weekend, disintegrated before my eyes.
So yesterday, I came straight home from my run and held Michael pretty much the entire day, while hubby proceeded to come down with the creeping crude as well. Awesome. So at 4am this morn, I was laying awake holding my feverish baby seriously considering bagging my first race ever. I didn’t want to go, everyone was sick. I felt guilty about leaving but was giving one person a ride to the race and meeting many more on site. Would it have mattered if I didn’t go? Not really but I felt a bit of obligation. I went. We had a large group of FNRC Runners.
We picked up the packets flawlessly. Met the director of the Arthritis Foundation. Met the Race Director. Pinned our bibs to our shirts. Waited around and socialized in the warm gymnasium and then returned to the car to do final preparations. At this point, it was pouring rain and about 37 degrees. My guilt was running high from leaving hubby and Michael home sick, Aby was feeling crappy and begging to go home. Nicki didn’t
want to run in the pouring, freezing rain mind returning home. I literally put my head on my steering wheel trying to figure out the right answer. Stay? Go? Time was ticking and the race was upon us and for whatever reason, I decided to stay and run even though I knew we all wanted to just go back home.
During my moment(s) of indecision, we about missed the start, and were standing in the grass when the gun went off. Myself, Aby & Nicki are below on our way to the start. Thanks Kim M. for all the F’N photos in this post. If not for you, we would only see words on a page. I appreciate your constant, unwavering support of all of us!
The gun went off, it took me a second to realize that the race was actually starting and we stepped onto the road to run. It was then that I realized we were quite a ways from the start line. Normally the poor positioning wouldn’t be a big deal because most chip timed races also have a timing mat at the start line but this one did not. So we were on gun time but it wasn’t too big of an issue for us cuz we all felt like crap, were there primarily to be festive and run in our awesome Team Sparkle skirts, and support out friends and the the Arthritis Foundation. No big deal, but a bit of an error on my part.
Amazingly enough, the rain pretty much stopped at the beginning of the race and we were able to run without getting too wet. The roads were wet but not unsafe. We had to
run thru dodge some puddles. The route was on campus at the Shapiro Development Center so on closed roads that did not have vehicular traffic. It was well marked, had 2 waters stops and diverse terrain. We even went off road shortly and ran a non-technical trail thru a wooded area. Kinda cool. Definitely different. I liked it a lot.
Plus, there were so many F’N Runners & Kankakee River Running Club members running, spectating and helping, that it was nice to see so many friendlies. I run to run. I show up on a lot of days knowing that I don’t have much to give but I go (and stayed today) because of all YOU who also got out there to support a good cause and take a small break from “real life”. I went (and stayed) to support all of you, my amazing running family, in the only way that I could. I ran.
And when it came time for awards, I was even more F’N proud seeing all my friends collect some bling. From left: Kate S (1st in age group), Maggie W (1st in age group), Susan M aka “Julie” (first overall female), Nicole F (2nd in age group), & Me (1st in age group).
And yes, we came home with some cool swag too. A long sleeve cotton tee, a jingle bell, and a few other cool things.
The post race food options were amazing with everything from hot chocolate, cream of chicken rice soup to pizza. A costume contest was held, a raffle, and they gave awards 3 deep in all the normal age groups. It was a good turn out with with well over 400 people finishing the race and a great race in general. If all goes well, I hope to go back and actually race the Jingle Bell next year. I love a well run, festive event where I see lots of friends. Great job, Jingle Bell Run!
** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz