On Saturday, December 14, I took part in the Jingle Bell 5k in Harrisburg for the Arthritis Foundation. It was my first 5k in a few months, and I couldn’t wait to be a part of the day. Below is my take!
Let me start by saying, the day was COLD. When I woke up Saturday morning we were under a Winter Storm Warning (we got about 4 inches of snow later in the day) and it was 22 degrees. Brr. I’m not a cold weather person so I have to admit, I was concerned. This was in no part a reflection of the race, the organization or anything else…just a general observation!
I showed up at 8 am for the 10 am start because of the Girls on the Run program. Packet pick-up was a breeze and in no time I was in the heated tent looking for my running buddy and trying to figure out how to dress for the race (Jacket on or off? How many layers of Under Armour? etc.).
At 9 am, the program started. Dr. Lippy with Pinnacle Health thanked all the runners (over 3,000!) and introduced Kaylee Heberlee, the race’s honoree. Shortly after, music started, runners started stretching and everyone got excited. This was excellent…the only problem? Being outside for an hour prior to the start in frigid temperatures was tough!
Right before the race started, runners lined up. Chip timing made placement less important and we were ready to go. The course was fairly straightforward, two laps (with a few modifications the second time around) through the business park with times posted at each mile and clear directions. This gave runners fewer things to think about and made the experience more pleasant. At the finish, runners moved through the corrals and prepared for the awards ceremony. It was a fun – yet cold, can I emphasize that enough? – race that helped get everyone into the Christmas spirit. I fully plan to participate again next year. Great job Jingle Bell 5k!