In honor of the fact that I'll likely run this race again this year, I decided to post my recap of when I did this race the first time a few years ago. (Although it's now apparently a 5k - it was an 8k when I did it last. I guess those last three kilometers were too much to ask of people wearing bells on their shoes)
The Jingle All The Way 8K
I hadn't planned on doing another race before the year's end, but my friend Rebekah had done this race before and said it was fun.
I mean, they tie jingle bells to everyone's shoes. It's either going to be fun or I'm going to lose my hearing. Sure! Let's find out!
The start line was fantastic. Most everyone was at least wearing a Santa hat or reindeer antlers. Some much more:
I also saw Green Man:
(I can't remember where I got this photo so if you took it, THANK YOU.)
That's not the first time I've seen Green Man. I guess this is some kind of spoof from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia but I did not know that the first time I saw someone wearing one of these things.
...as they were running down a street on Capitol Hill...
.....Yes, I thought I was hallucinating....
But back to the race. Rebekah and I took off at the start line and were immediately passed by several hilarious characters. In fact, we got passed a lot throughout the race. The rundown went something like this:
Mile one: we are passed by Santa and his reindeer:
(Photo credit: http://www.facebook.com/jinglealltheway8k)
They looked similar to the pic above and ran while all tied together. And still passed us.
A few steps later, the entire nativity scene also passed us:
They. Were. Awesome. The men's head scarves flapped in the breeze, one of the wisemen carried a gold box the entire time, Baby Jesus rode in a jogging stroller, and The Star was complete with a sign on her back saying "follow me!" Which is just what I did, as if I too was one of the Wisemen....until The Star stole the stuffed sheep that one of the shepherds was holding, causing the shepherd to chase her through the crowd and leave me in their dust.
Later, I heard a bunch of voices behind us and turned to find a group of Christmas....bunnies:
Yeah I didn't get it either, but they made me laugh. Especially when they kept yelling at the other runners who we'd pass on some of the out and back stretches through the city.
And on it went. Until they too passed us. Did you catch that? We were passed by bunnies.
(Update: Since I wrote about this race in my book, I've since been informed that the bunnies are a reference to A Christmas Story, which I actually have never watched all the way through [I know I'm unAmerican and shouldn't be allowed to continue living, etc. etc.] so my ignorance is now immortalized forever in this post and in Confessions. Sigh.)
But one of my favorite racers of all was a guy who started playing Christmas carols before the race started -
on a tuba.
He then jogged while carrying that thing through the whole 5+ mile race, stopping to walk and play more carols every mile or so. He played We Three Kings as the nativity set passed us, you guys. I wanted to marry him.
Tuba guy was one of the few who never passed us. This was good news for two reasons: one, because I would be really embarrassed if I couldn't run faster than someone playing a giant brass instrument; and two, because I loved hearing him start up another tune behind us. Everyone within earshot started cheering after each carol. So fun.
Somewhere around mile 4, the nativity set pulled off to the side, apologetically announcing that "Baby Jesus is crying!"
So they too ended up behind us and after they rejoined the race, they started singing carols, so that was another fun addition.
In fact, I barely heard the jingle bells on all our shoes. There was so much else going on I got used to the incessant ringing and just got into the zone.
We were so in the zone that during the last mile, Rebekah looked around and noted, "Huh, seems like we're actually passing quite a few people!" I also looked around and reminded her that we were passing people wrapped in lit Christmas tree lights, so we really couldn't count that as a huge score....
But we definitely did score just by being a part of this ridiculousness. More photos are below - enjoy!
The Juggler was there! He's in most all the races in this city and I even ran with him during part of a race once -- so fun to see him as Santa....
We had no idea why this guy was wearing a suit but we didn't need to know. Awesomeness.
We had initially wondered if he could keep that cookie head on...smart choice.
So much going on here. Just try to improve this photo in any way. Not possible.
My happy feet when it was over.
(Most of the photos on this post are from: