Ft Lauderdale beach captured the feeling of Christmas this morning as 2000 Santa runner/walkers attended the annual Jingle Bell Jog. The inaugural year of this event was 2014, I remember it like yesterday. We met our daughter and her friends at Huizenga Park in front of the big Christmas tree. They were dressed like elves and KJ wore his novelty Santa suite. I well let’s say I’m not much of a costume person, however I did wear the Santa hat. The weather for the middle of December a toasty 80 degrees excited runners from all over the area. The course in 2014 and 2015 ran along Las Olas Blvd overlooking the intercostal waterways and through a beautiful old Florida neighborhood. Much has changed since December 2014. I can’t believe five years has come and gone. This race attracts runners/walkers from Miami up to Port St Lucie. The Jingle Bell Jog extended into a series and added race locations in Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Delray Beach, Atlanta, and the Bahamas. It’s one of the most exciting and festive races of the year where family and friends gather to run along the most scenic route in the country.
We live in Hobe Sound, Florida and travel the 1 ½ hours to Ft Lauderdale to run this amazing beach. There is something magical about Ft Lauderdale beach at Christmas, perhaps it’s the giant snowman that sits on the beach, or the people who visit from around the world. Whatever it is the power of the season is felt by all. Even the weather showed signs of December this year. Start time temperature a nice 70 degrees, a bit on the chilly side in Ft Lauderdale, but comfortable. At 7:15 am the runners lined up at the start line for a 7:30 am launch time. At 7:27 am the MC counted down, bubbles fell from the snow machine, and we were off.
I worried my ankle would wreak my run, it felt tight and sore. Once I got moving it stretched out, felt better, and my pace comfortable. I was also happy KJ ran side by side today. We made it a fun run with no expectations, a nice change from him darting off and leaving me in the dust. This year’s race uncovered the scenic views of the beach and the festive holiday time as we relaxed, and forgot about pace. Interestingly enough when I’m didn’t worry about pace or form I ran my fastest. I wore my Christmas light skorts and last week’s Holiday Halfathon red shirt with a white snowflake. KJ wore his Ho, Ho, Ho shorts and Santa hat. I enjoyed all the costumes people wore. Of, course most people wore the Santa suites that were part of the swag that came with the race entry, people dressed in elf costumes along with a lady dressed in a Christmas tree, but the best novelty was a guy running with a disabled stroller dressed up like a sleigh…that was cool. So many fun people on the course today.
The 2018 Jingle Bell Jog in the books along with a Personal Best (PB). I ran an 11:57 pace coming in at 37:34. That was an added bonus. The after party this year seemed smaller than last year and previous years. Not as many tents and fun games like last year or previous years, but still a great spread of Christmas cookies, candy, and cheer. I’m looking forward to running our 6thannual Jingle Bell Jog in 2019.