So, I had seen this race advertised at the same time I signed up for the Gobble x3. It was organised by the Somerville Striders Athletic Club, and in 2007 had been hosted as the 'Bill Rodgers Jingle Bell Run'. This year it was the 'Second Somerville Jingle Bell Run' as Bill Rodgers was away. The weather had been coldish over the last few weeks and although I had run outside a few times, I felt I could have done more. During the last week leading up to the race I did not train very much at all, and had Stuart's office do on the Friday night and friends for dinner on Saturday night. I awoke on Sunday feeling that I had eaten and drunk rather a lot!
There was pre-race pick up of bibs and t-shirts during the week at various locations, so that thankfully was one less thing to contend with. Also, my friend Kathy had agreed to participate too, so I was very excited at that. Not that we would run together mind you, as Kathy is a proper runner and she runs fast! Originally we had decided to dress as elves, but between sorting out the putty ears and yellow and green tights, the idea fell to the wayside. On the morning of the race she rang to say that she had twisted her ankle and was only going to come to support me. I was a bit disappointed for her, but when we met up, she decided to walk it instead. Yay for Kathy! I was so pleased.
The atmosphere was tremendous, and you knew that it was going to be a good race from the pre-race warm up music of Maria Carey's 'All I want for Christmas is you' to Jose Feliciano's 'Feliz Navidad'. The santas, elves and gingerbread persons were impressive, but none more so than the group of reindeer with santa. My christmas spirit contribution comprised a hairband covered with holly and ivy, and Kathy had one too (next year we will run in something more becoming the holidays). The main street was packed and Kathy and I were huddled down a side street waiting our turn to start. And then we were off! Like my previous race this one was also chip timed, so there was no stress to push to the starting line. I said bye bye to Kathy and Stuart, and said we would meet up in Starbucks afterwards.
The street was packed with runners and it meant that I could settle into the race nicely. This time I hoped to finish in no more than 35 minutes. I ran at a quickish pace (or at least so it seemed) and this time I by-passed the water station as I had a nice rhythm going and didn't want to stop. A few hills and lots of spectators, but the best was just running on a beautiful sunny morning with your breath frosting before your very eyes.
Suddenly I realised that we might be nearing the end, as we were on a bike path and on the map, this signified the end. So, I picked up the pace which was not easy as the path was packed, and started sprinting towards the finish line. As I crossed the finish the time indicated 31:57 (gun) and I felt pretty pleased with that. I gave back the chip, picked up my medal and walked off to Starbucks with Stuart to meet Kathy. In the end we didn't stay as the place was heaving. After a cappucino and a brioche at Toscanini's we went home. When the results were posted Kathy finished in 38:34 with a 12:25 split - not bad for someone walking/jogging on a twisted ankle. She placed 40/53 in her age group and 3044 out of 3181. My time was 29:25 with a 9:29 split! I placed 86/199 in my age group and 1850 in a total field of 3181. Although I don't have any pics, these are from the coolrunning website by Ted Tyler - posted with permission.
Other people's stuff: Somerville Race Video