Sunday, December 18, 2016

Bill Rogers Jingle Bell 5k Run Recap

Today I participated in my final run of 2016, the Jingle Bell 5k. This was my first time doing this run. I had a friend running who I hadn't seen for a little while. The weather was good for running. It did rain, but mostly after I finished which was awesome. Plus being 50° in December was perfect.


Start Time:
11 am


Prior to the race date there was email communication to help with seeing where parking was available, the course, and what bars were part of the post-race party. I got my bib morning of the race. I found street parking fairly easily and had a short walk to the start/finish area and the bib pickup location. Bib pickup was in the Somerville Senior Center. The line was outside the building, but moved very quickly. (The line could be due to people exiting from the same door.) Once upstairs you picked up your bibs and shirts. The bibs were separated alphabetically. There was a person telling everyone that they were alphabetical, but you could not see what box you were in front of until you were up to it. After you picked up your bib you got your shirt. After finishing the race there was no clear direction on where to get your medal or water. I felt I had a longer walk than necessary to get my medal. There was a teenage boy handing out water, but everyone was grabbing their own medal. This could have been organized better.


I loved that this was a closed course. Each mile had someone holding up a sign showing each mile. There was one water stop along the course after mile 1. There was plenty of course support along the entire route. Even people standing in line for breakfast were waving and cheering people on. 


 T-shirt, finisher medal, jingle bell*, post race party
*I did not get a jingle bell. I would guess that they ran out prior to ending packet pickup.

Would I recommend this race?
I would do this run again next year. Overall everything went smoothly. There were families who ran, people dressed up in Christmas leggings, ugly sweaters, Santa hats, and more! (There was one group dressed up as Santa and reindeer and another group who were playing guitar and a drum singing Christmas carols.

Friday, December 16, 2016

I Entered a Lottery And...

I was accepted into the Chicago Marathon!

I entered to see what would happen. A few friends also applied so what was the worst that could happen. In the end all 5 people I know got accepted via the lottery and 1 friend is running for charity. This is the first run of 2017 that I've signed up for and I know I'll add more along the way. 

This is the best way to see a new place isn't it!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Ugly Sweater Run Recap

Yesterday I participated in The Ugly Sweater Run.

This run is put on in multiple cities in the month of December:
Seattle, WA
Hartford, CT
Atlanta, GA
Cleveland, OH
Dallas, TX
Chicago, IL
Boston, MA
Denver, CO
Philadelphia, PA
Baltimore, MD
Washington, DC

I attended the Boston, MA edition held at Suffolk Downs. The weather was really cold, but that is no one's fault. Everyone was in good spirits at the run, which was great. This year the run was put on by Kahlúa. So if you were over 21 you could get a free a Kahlúa drink. This was an all-ages event and a lot of people brought their children and even some dogs.


Start Time:
8:30 AM
There was a wave start so that everyone could get their bibs and get to the start line. This also allowed for there not to be too many people out on the course at the same time.

*There were discounts available for this race from the event holders, as well as on Groupon.

The organization of the race overall was good. There was bib pickup the night before the race at Suffolk Downs. If you could not make it the night before, there was bib pickup the morning of the race. They had the bib pickup outside (even though there was more than enough room inside). We all got into a line that seemed like it was the right one. After 30+ minutes we were told we could be in any line. It took almost an hour to get our bib and we actually missed the 8:30 start time. (Good thing there was multiple waves!) Besides the bib pickup everything else went smoothly. After you finished the race, it wasn't exactly clear where to get your medal. Everything else went really smoothly.


The course began in a parking lot and then went around before entering the old horse race track. The course was easy to follow and was marked perfectly. The miles were marked, but I only saw Mile 1. So I could have missed them There were 2 water stops along the course. 


Every registered runner got a knit hat and a medal. If you were under 21 your medal had a blue ribbon without the Kahlúa logo on it. I thought this was a great idea. After the run there was an after party where you could had tons of photo ops, could purchase some food, and redeem your free Kalhúa drink or hot chocolate.

Would I recommend this race?

I would recommend this race. This is a fun run to get into the holiday spirit with friends and family. Everyone was really nice and had some great Ugly Sweaters on. Even though we were cold we had a blast. Check out this race to see if they'll be running in near you!