Guest recap: 2014 Bend Jingle Bell Run

This recap was submitted by Run Oregon reader Drew Roberts.  Feel free to Submit a Guest Post in the “Contact Us” tab if you want to get involved.
Last year at this time, my family was preparing for our annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk participation. The year before (2012) had been the first time we had done the event together and came away with a plan that we, as a family, were going to do it every year because we had enjoyed it so much. Of course, it doesn’t hurt when after the race you go out for a gut busting breakfast at Palmer’s Cafe. We call that motivation in my family.
The trouble with last year was the cold. Two days before the race we got hit by a fairly wicked winter storm that brought ice, snow and temperatures below -25. Yes, you read that correctly. On the same weekend as the race, the city of Bend puts on a fantastic parade through downtown following the race and once you finish your run/walk, you can hang out and catch the festivities. Given the frigid temps, a decision was made by race organizers to cancel/postpone the race. Naturally, we chose to dress warmly and go out for breakfast.

This year, the temp at race time was 42 and there wasn’t a hint of snow. The usual crowd of santas, elves, snowmen, reindeer and other interestingly decorated snowflakes dashed their way to a slightly modified 5K course (due to bridge construction), which turned out to be 3.24 miles according to several GPS aficionados who all guffawed about having to go the extra distance. The kid that won didn’t seem to mind and turned and high-fived me after I crossed. He thanked me for pushing his speed and we chatted for a few about his upcoming track season. Everywhere I turned, people were carrying on and chatting like it was a high school reunion.
Honestly though, it’s hard to find anything to complain about with this event because it is so well-organized. The course is always well-marked, there is a bevy of supporters, cheerleaders, homeowners and revelers who line the streets along the route to yell and cheer you on as you race by. At the end, everyone is all smiles and jingle bells, there are more volunteers than I can count and it’s all for a great cause.
And yes, we went out for breakfast after we enjoyed a bit of the parade. I recommend the biscuits and gravy.
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Ultra runner with an ice cream addiction.

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