This is my second year running the Miami Jingle Bell Jog. I love it mostly because it’s just ridiculous which makes it really fun.
The Jingle Bell Jog is a 5k run/jog/walk. The delightful gimmick is that they give each runner a full Santa Suit and you can run wearing it. The suit is a red felt suit including pants, a jacket, a belt a hat and a white fuzzy beard. You also get a jingle bell to attach to each shoe. It’s a very family friendly event. There is also an elf dash for the kids at the end.
It’s one of those clothing items that fits everybody … and also nobody all at the same time. Kind of like Halloween costumes from the 70s and 80s one size fits nobody.
Is it annoying to run with all of this on. Yes. Is it also hilarious. Also, yes.
The Miami Jingle Bell Jog is part of a series in South Florida, Georgia, Nassau and Northern Virginia. Virginia and Nassau seem a little out of place there but that’s what the website says.
So, I don’t think this was done by a local (Miami) race director. Although there was a We Run Miami photo banner up and I did see Frankie Ruiz out with his truck leading in the winner (who was not wearing a Santa Suit … shame on him) and also following the final walkers (who are always the coolest, fwiw).
This race is big on charm and light on pre-race organization. The registration is online and no big deal. I heard that the pre-race packet pick up wasn’t super great but I didn’t do that because it wasn’t convenient to me. The pre-race parking info was … meh. And parking in downtown is serious business so that could be improved.
I got up early and hoofed it downtown because I was doing race day packet pickup. And this packet included my uniform. Ta-dah.
I got there and showed my i.d. (you didn’t think they’d give my Santa Suit out to just anybody did you? And proceeded to put on my outfit. Last year I was insistent that I run the whole thing in the whole suit. this year I was more flexible and I never even put on the pants. It’s Miami, even on a cool day it’s 70 and this was not really a cool weather day.
I immediately found some friends and we started taking pictures because let’s be serious this is an event that’s really more about the pictures than anything else, amiright?
More friends arrived and then more pictures. Finally the start and the running began. I was next to my friend Mickey who was next to me like .. um Amy what’s with the slow pace. Well, confession time. I had been at a holiday party the night before. There was too much wine and not quite enough water for fast running for me in this event.
I got to the first water stop and took some water. The volunteers are also in Santa Suits which is fun.
These suits are made of felt and seriously they don’t breathe at all. It was F!@$#$ HAWT. So I did take off my jacket and tie it around my waist. Oh thank heaven that was the best decision I made all day. My friend Silvia was ahead running towards me and gave me the stink eye for ditching my costume. She was decked out including bells on her braids. I know…she’s adorable…it’s too cute.
Then I rounded the next turn and stopped to take a photo of my friends Manrique and his wife Barbara … they’re awesome. And then a photo of my friend Jo jo who is also taking a photo of me. I know we’re adorable. Then finally I finished the race. I mean it’s 3 miles I packed as much distraction in those 3 miles as I could but eventually it was over.
It wasn’t me just shedding the layers I ran by a garbage can which was really a pile of red felt. People were just dropping all kinds of pieces as they went by. I can’t blame them – it was very warm. That being said, the 3rd or 4th runner to finish did run in the entire suit. If this was my race I would give him first prize. I mean that’s the gimmick, run with the suit – you know. Of course, that’s also why maybe I’m not a race director.
I took my cute medal and a bottle of water and we cheered in our friends. Then we took about 10,000 more photos. Including a totally ridiculous experience where we asked a stranger to take our photo and then got completely sidetracked with a conversation about statues and hotels (how rude of us) before she politely reminded us she was standing there waiting to take our photo … because we had asked her to. Ooopsie. This is that photo.
There were delicious after run treats of rice crispy treats, full snickers bars and the delicious chocolates in the gold wrapper – Ferrer Rocher and I had two because I can never have them at home (nut allergy).
And then it was over. I had to run off to pick up my kids from their sleepovers. But next year I have to up my game at this race because 3 of my friends podium’d. But not me. Congrats to them because they are fabulous.
There were a lot more photos and friends from this event. These are just the ones on my phone.
I do think this is a fun race. It did fall on the same day as the Miami 5k this year by local store iRun and I feel a little guilty for choosing one over the other.
So do you do a Jingle Bell Jog or other themed holiday race? Tell me all about it in the comments.