29 November 2014

Jingle Bell Hell...not just another virtual race...

...but one with a sketchy prize history yet an amazing assortment of donuts at the LIVE event.

You may or may not remember that I've been race director (using that term verrrrrry loosely) for an awesome holiday race for the last three years. (That takes you to the first running...click here to see the second year's recap and here to see last year's). 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 the next 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!!! Donuts have now become a signature drawing point for this event.

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.


Three was not exactly an attendance charm. Only two participants again, but this time Jen didn't get sick...and she WON! 

We're giving it another go! It's time to begin thinking about running in 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 20, 2014 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.

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 December 13 and 21, 2014... 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. Receiving these prizes is always iffy, as previous participants will tell you, because I really really really hate going to the post office. But honestly, folks...ARE WE REALLY RUNNING FOR PRIZES?????

Leave a comment if you want to participate!

04 November 2014

A lot happens in 6 months...

I'm going to row again. All because of this. I got inspired.

That's the latest, anyway.

Filling you in, in reverse order, on my life over the past six months...and trying to keep it brief...here's what's been going on...

Halloween happened.
Miss C kept changing her mind on what to be. I don't even know what she ended up trick-or-treating as, but she got this great big sucker that made her very happy. X was a faceless, voiceless shadow, AKA Chromeface. G was Fizz the Tidal Trickster and Q-Man was a ninja...like many other fourth graders at his school.

We hit up the very expensive, local pumpkin patch. Lots of bouncy castles and slides for the low, low price of $10/30 minutes per kid. And pumpkins were NOT included. It's such a racket. But the kids had a BLAST!
A few days before Halloween, she got an Elsa dress that, while delightful to twirl in, did not make the trick-or-treating cut.
That crazy, 10-day Fall break at my kids' school happened...

We played CandyLand and got an Anna costume...that also did not make the Halloween cut.

We went to the beach to see the sun set, ran races at the San Francisco Zoo, and did speed work at the local track.
We also did some hiking in a princess nightgown that was worn for 5 (not kidding) consecutive days.

Ragnar Napa Valley happened...

I was invited to drive for Team You're the Wine that I Want. It was so much fun. Kind of more fun that running it probably would have been...at least for me! Cathryn, Jen, Jess, Sabrina, Amanda, Janet, Jim, Matt, Rich, BT, and another Jen (?) took me on a fun trip that involved too many inside jokes and a triple espresso. I can't wait to do it again :)
Summer vacation happened...
Lots of camping in the redwoods and hiking in the East Bay hills. My hip is officially GOOD. Actually GREAT!!!! My oldest son and I got up to over 13 miles of hiking...pain-free...except for the pain in my ears from his whining...actually he wasn't really THAT bad :) And I'm feeling awesome enough to have entered to walk a marathon. I fell in love with the Humboldt redwoods and so decided to walk in the Avenue of the Giants Marathon next May.

And that's my life in a nutshell since May 12th.

What's the best thing that's happened to you in the last 6 months?

Random picture of yummy grape sorbet from a fancy Napa restaurant.


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