This race was pure joy.
It began the night before when Beth and I put jingle bells on our sneakers:
Start time was 10 am, which makes for a nice, leisurely morning. We stopped to pick up some last minute jingling accessories and for coffee and bagels. We arrived at the race around 9 am so I could pick up my packet. It wasn’t very crowded so we didn’t have to wait in line and we were able to park within sight of the start/finish line. Once I had my packet, we crawled back into the car and listened to some of our favorite Christmas music and watched a parade of costumed runners getting ready to race.
Around 9:53 am we got out of the car, screamed at the shock of the cold, and headed for the start. We got in line just before the National Anthem began and we were running in minutes. Once we got going, we were nice and warm.
Proceeds from the race benefit The Arthritis Foundation and volunteers stood along the course with signs depicting the face of arthritis, especially juvenile arthritis.
It was an easy, mostly flat course from Heinz Field to the Sixteenth Street Bridge and back. On the return, you turn off the road onto a trail that runs along the river and hit a gorgeous view of all three rivers just before the final (and only) hill around mile 3.
The race was over before we knew it and we were on our way to Mad Mex for these:
And then home to bake Christmas cookies and discover that the ‘N Sync Christmas album only gets better with time and nostalgia.