22 November 2013

JINGLE BELL HELL 2013 is a-comin'!!!!

Many many thanks to Run with Jess for giving me a swift kick in the butt on this...
She is the MOST AWESOME Race Ambassador EVER!!!!
I've become such an absentee blogger of late (try the whole last YEAR) 
so I'm wondering how many people will see this! 
I hope you all will share it with EVERYone you know or don't know because...

The more the merrier!!!

You may or may not remember that I've been race director for an awesome holiday race for the last two years. (That takes you to the first running...click here to see the most recent recap). Remember how no one attended the 2011 event knowingly and the winner of the real life race was a random guy who had no idea he was a part of the resurrection of Jingle Bell Hell. 

Runner Chris...random guy who won last year's race!

And then last year, the indomitable RoseRunner was crushed by SFRoadWarrior in a surprise upset. Of course she did have a 2-mile handicap! I was able to lure flesh-and-blood, intentional participants with DONUTS!!! There will be donuts again this year.

And there were all of the virtual participants who never received their prizes and probably hate me now :( If y'all knew what my last year has been like, y'all'd forgive me in a heartbeat...I promise. Note: lack of blogging was due to IRL insane turmoil and putting-back-together-of-life-pieces.


We're giving it another go! It's time to sign up for this fabulous event!

Below is information on the race...past and present...a little history...some details...hope to see you there, either in the flesh or in spirit!

The 6th running of 
Jingle Bell Hell
1/3-marathon and fun run 
Saturday, December 21, 2013 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...

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...

Each year, the winner gets to have their picture taken with this perpetual trophy and have their name added to the illustrious list on 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...with an SF Bay view, in a solid structure, and don't mind driving about five miles...

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 between Dec. 14-22, 2013... any time of day or night. This gives you two entire weekends to choose from.
  • 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 and we may all share in the fun... please include something about when, where, why regarding the laughing part and what made the run your special brand of Hell :)
Participants in the virtual race will be entered in a prize drawing. Things like fueling products, Nuun hydration products, winter running gear, running safety items, some random stuff... 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.

And I WILL send out the prizes this year!!!! FOR REAL!

Leave a comment if you want to participate!


  1. Oh you can definitely count me in! And welcome back!

  2. As I said on Twitter - I'm totally in! Glad to "see" you around. Hope life is settling down for you and you'll be around a bit more often.

    1. I do hope to be around a bit more :) Thanks!

  3. Good to see you back! I likely won't be able to do 8 miles in a month (still recovering gradually from injury), but I'll let you know!

    1. You can do less...you can bike it...you can pogo-stick it...whatever, it should be a laughable hell! Hope you're well soon!

  4. Oooh, if I'm in town, count me in!

  5. Hmmm, I'm in, but I might have to be extra creative. I'll be just barely done with my PT, so hopefully I'll be able to at least walk it. The hell part will simply be how slow I'll have to go. I did a stationary bike a few weeks ago (at the suggestion of a PT), and had to keep myself from crying by the time I had finished a mile. And no hard feelings with the missed prize - I just had fun participating.

    1. You can do it on the stationary bike while reading The Wall Street Journal...that sounds like hell, doesn't it? And would probably fit with PT requirements :)

  6. I'm glad to see you back! I've missed your posts. I'm not signing up yet, I'd really love to run in person, but I doubt that will happen.

  7. Prizes, schmizes. I just want to three-peat my winning ways. :)

    1. And for that, you'll get a medal :) You are also an AWESOME JBH Ambassador :)

  8. I was just thinking about this the other day... so I'm glad you're gonna organize this again! Looking forward to actually running this time. :)

  9. Yeah, there has been a bit of the "lack of blogging" bug going around. I am VERY glad to see you back....and me too for that matter. Look for me on a virtual street corner near you soon.

  10. I'm in! Might have to break out the Santa hat for it :-)

  11. I'd love to participate virtually again this year. I can remember my evil laugh last year, then I laughed a real laugh for laughing while I was running...oh the silly things runners do.

  12. Heck yeah! You know I'm in... my run club has our date/route all set! :)

  13. I must appreciate the brilliant work by brilliant writer. Keep blogging. Best of luck.

  14. I love it!!! I haven't done any virtual race but this one I like! :) I'm in! :)

  15. I am in for a virtual 5K like last year...hopefully this year, it won't be snowing and I won't have a dead ipod to contend with. I am doing a IRL 5K on the 21st so I probably will knock this one out the weekend before.

  16. Oh, and so glad to see you are back...hope you are feeling better!!

  17. Sounds like fun, so count me in. I'll try & rustle up some other participants, but so often I'm flying solo. But we'll see!

  18. Yay, I'm glad you're back! I'm in again this year. If the weather forecast holds out I'll be running a marathon in the rain and cold next Saturday. In my world that's as hellish as it gets!

  19. PERFECT! I thought about this race yesterday when I took my dog for a 2 mile run in 7" fresh snow and fell on my ass right as a truck was approaching and at the base of a driveway where a man was snowblowing. All I could do was laugh, wave a thumbs up, and make sure my dog was okay, and finish running with that tell-tale snowman-esque backside. Looks like I"ll have to brave the nasty snow again (because I've already battled the treadmill "10k Fun Run" that defeated me last year, and sadly it defeated me again... Treadmill 3, me 0).


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