19 November 2011

Jingle Bell Hell 2011

After a fifteen-year hiatus, Jingle Bell Hell is back! 

The 4th running of 
Jingle Bell Hell
1/3-marathon and fun run 
Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 8:00 a.m.
Inspiration Point, Tilden Park, Berkeley, California
Rain or Shine

or wherever in the world you might be :)

The starting point of the real-life event is Inspiration Point in Berkeley, California and the course map is...



View Larger Map

and the elevation profile is...


as determined by my Garmin.

The History

My best friends from high school used to put on a race in December. It was small in terms of the number of participants but huge in terms of fun and adventure. Initially, it was a half-marathon, but they found that very few of their friends were at all interested in or capable of running that far. Additionally, the course involved some running on a twisty, narrow road with minimal shoulder that did see its fair share of traffic...especially on weekends. So they abbreviated it to a 1/3-marathon (more or less...a bit over 8 miles) and were able to run it entirely on a paved, car-less road.


My husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) and I ran in their 3rd Annual Jingle Bell Hell in December of 1995 (see picture above...I am front and center with the socks on my hands, he is in the back in the light shirt). It was freezing by Bay Area standards...but not wet. Not everyone went all the way out to the turnaround...and that was just fine.

I won the trophy that year... the "Actually Trained for This Race" Award...


This year's winner will get to have their picture taken with this trophy and have their name added to the bottom... ballpoint pen inscribed on masking tape, 'cuz we're classy like that. And there will be some prizes that can be taken home as well :)


I am really hoping to see some local runners in attendance! It's not far from San Francisco, San Jose or even Santa Cruz... looking west or south. Concord is super close to the east, and Sacramento is just 90 minutes away to the north. It's a great follow-up to the early December races, like CIM and Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas

If you're coming in from out of town and need a super cheap place to crash...

The Occupy Berkeley-ers have a very central location. I am sure they wouldn't mind it you pitched a tent with them. 

But if you want an SF Bay view, a more solid structure, and don't mind driving a little farther...
The Albany Bulb Waterfront has some very artistic structures that may or may not be inhabited by squatters.


If you want to do virtual version of Jingle Bell Hell, here are the parameters...
  • Must be at least 5K in total length...no maximum.
  • Must be done on a challenging course (and if you hate treadmills, that means it could be on a treadmill) because the idea is "Hell" ... that is the important part.
  • Must be done the weekend of Dec. 17-18, 2011... any time of day or night.
  • You must laugh at least once... can be an evil laugh, a laugh of futility, any kind of laugh but laughter is a MUST.
  • Email me a link to your Jingle Bell Hell recap so I can post it that next week and we may all share in the fun... please include something about when, where, why regarding the laughing part :)
Participants in the virtual race will be entered in a prize drawing. They won't be big prizes, but I want to try to have something for everyone... depending on how many or how few participate. Going with that whole "Everyone's a Winner" thing :) Don't want anyone's self-esteem damaged by a silly sporting event.

Leave a comment if you want to participate!

45 comments:

  1. sounds awesome! Wish I could make it out to NoCA for this!!
    Count me in.
    I will be running the virtual Jingle Bell Hell 2011 from Southern Maine-1/3 marathon distance on some hills.

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  2. oh wish I could come do the actual race with you! I will join in in some capacity - if I can't run at least a 5k by the 18th I'll be in a "hellish" mood at the very least!

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  3. Ooh, that sounds like fun. I'm in! (from IL, since CA isn't in my budget)

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  4. Is this the running equivalent of the cycling Death Ride?

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  5. That race sounds fun, very cool. :) I want a trophy!

    runningtobeskinny.com

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  6. I'm in. I know a hill I don't want to run on, but will!

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  7. This sounds awesome! Love the trophy!

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  8. this is such an awesome idea. Looks like tons of fun!!!
    Also, Thanks for the comment on my page.

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  9. crap one week too late
    I am doing my own hell hilly half marathon on the 11...
    I dont know if my legs will be up for more hills one week later
    so I am a maybe for now!!!

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  10. I'll be there in person! Fun fun.

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  11. So many hills that I hate around here....why not! I'm in from upstate NY :)

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  12. I'm in for a 1/3 marathon... thru Springdale Cemetary, a runner's haven of hills in which I hate to run!

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  13. Will have to think on this one. I like the idea of getting a group of friends together and laughing while tackling a wicked hard run.

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  14. I'm in, if I am recovered from my injury. The run might be "hell" enough since I haven't run in a little while but I will try to make it a little bit challenging. Due to the nature of my injury monster hills might be out though. Doing this virtually from Western New York!

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  15. Maybe I'll run 5K backwards and send you a video of me doing so you can laugh on my behalf by proxy. Because I never laugh.

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  16. BAHAHAHAHAHA... I felt like you're speaking to me directly when you wrote that virtual version!

    Ok, we'll see. December 17 or 18th, right? I'll try to do it on my treadmill (effin' treadmill, that is). Those stats, numbers, whatever don't make sense of me, but yes, I get that it must be at least 5K and death-ifying. And I just happened to have a lot of those moments when I did decide to go on my treadmill. lol

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  17. sounds fun -- except for the making it heck-ish part! ;-) I'm in anyway! runner_girl5k at yahoo dot com

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  18. I LOVE THIS idea....I just can't come but I will look forward to reading about the process :)

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  19. I'm 90% sure I'll be there! Sounds fun :)

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  20. I am "virtually" in! This should be hellishly fun. :D

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  21. Hmmm. I need to run 20ish miles that day, but not on hilly trails. Maybe I'll virtually run in the east bay? (Yep, that sounds absurd.)

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  22. Count me in! Hills, hills and more hills...easy to find hellish running from my house!

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  23. Ok, I will do the virtual version (I'm also doing a virtual version 5K for someone else that weekend...2 in 1 race - yahoo! :))...but because I HATE HATE HATE 5k's, that in itself is HELL running one so that takes care of that part! I fully expect to see a trophy come in the mail for me...surely there is a category for those returning from injury purgatory, right? :)

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  24. So fun! And hellish. I'm in!!!

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  25. Sounds like torture...err..fun :) No, really, it looks tough but fun. Doubt I can make it but I hope you have a great run!

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  26. I'm not sure why my comment (above) came up as unknown. I signed it.. :/ It's Renee.

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  27. Yikes, I am late to the party. I live in NH so the hill part won't be that bad:) In fact I have a hill that I am thinking of right now. Written in my calendar. (I will do the 1/3 distance)

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  28. i will be in the bay area that day and I would LOVE to do this race. I just need a good place to be able to shower/clean up before attending a baby shower at 1pm in Union City. Thoughts?

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  29. My run will be considerably less hilly... but I will be out with you!

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  30. Jingle Bell Hell sounds like so much fun...I'll be joining you from South Caolina...actually, running in all forms are pretty hellish in my book, but just to make it more fun I'll do my race at night...maybe it'll be cold [which I hate] and raining [which I hate more]

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  31. Weather is looking good for this weekend. Now to figure out my "hellish" course and what I can do to laugh. Hmm....

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  32. Okay, I think I've finally decided I'm virtually in. I'm already running a super hellish race on the 17th, so if I have a reason to try to make myself laugh all the better. I'll let you know when I report about it. Good luck with yours!!

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  33. I'm in for the Virtual Race! Tomorrow is my last long run before my (stupid idea to run within a 14 hour period of each other) NYE/NYD 5ks, and it's supposed to snow, so it'll be hell.

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  34. Im going to run 7 miles with a clip on Santa on my butt. it will be hell for someone.

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  35. I am so in! I have some awesome hills that are the very definition of hell.

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  36. I just saw this and of course I am in!!

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  37. Commercial Fitness equipment including treadmills, ellipticals, bikes and custom strength equipment. You can find our nearest provider for Fitness equipment orlando.

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  38. The actually trained for this race award is a really good idea. I wish I had something like that for my last event. Looks like I'm going back on the livestrong treadmill and train for the Halloween event.

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