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The Costumed Runner Blog: 2013 Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis

by Mel Ortiz, community blogger

Making a Candy Cane Running Costume

Pictured Tim Fraser. Photo: Mel Ortiz

For years I have always wanted to do this event and finally 2013 was the year! My co-worker Lindsay invited me to join her team and of course once I signed up I needed to have a costume that would be perfect for this event set for Sunday, December 8, 2013 at the World Trade Center in downtown Portland. I decided that a candy cane would be both fun for the kids and hilarious for the young at heart.  Of course it may be a costume that may not be easy to run/walk in, but 'tis the season ... right?

Candy Cane Costume Pictured: Left, 2013 Ugly Sweater winner Lori McKinney, Rudolph, Santa, and Candy Cane (aka Mel Ortiz). Photo: Mel Ortiz

I found my fabulous costume on the internet and once it arrived my trusty husband helped me make the necessary alternations for some ease of movement.

Jingle Bell Run Ugliest Sweater

Pictured: Left, 2012 Ugly Sweater winner, right 2013 Ugly Sweater winner Lori McKinney. Photo: Mel Ortiz

This took some engineering on both our parts to make it work and we found that hot gluing a light wooden stick to the back of the costume helped make it stand straight up to help add to the cuteness factor.  We then added a belt to connect to the stick and to me to add more strength in keeping the candy cane straight.  I decided not to do a test run in this figuring it will work at out the day of the event.

The day of the event was a brisk Portland morning. There were cute costumes everywhere and jingle bells worn by as young as 2 to as old as … you get the picture.

There was even an Ugly Sweater contest which my good friend and running buddy, Lori, won. The winner from last year shared that he tried to defend his title but was gracious enough to have a photo with the 2013 winner.

The event started on time and was very well organized. The course wound through Old Town and back to the waterfront. Many fans cheered along the way and thank goodness my candy cane held up. The plus side was that it kept me very warm and insulated. My husband was also happy to see that it made it to the finish without any malfunctions along the way.

Candy Cane Costume

Pictured: Left, 2013 Ugly Sweater winner Lori McKinney, Rudolph, Santa, and Candy Cane (aka Mel Ortiz). Photo: Mel Ortiz

We capped off the end of this event with a photo with Santa and his trusty reindeer Rudolph. I have a feeling this event will be a yearly tradition for not only my family and friends and I – but of course as the candy cane.

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