For many athletes, this is one of the best times of the year for running and especially participating in local events. You can tell by the number of people that come out to run in the Jingle Bell runs and other holiday themed events that it is a really popular time of year. The weather is certainly cooler and the festive atmosphere and charity component of these events help make them well attended.
One of my favorite events is the St. Judes Jingle Bell 5K. This event is now in its 21st year. I've been the race director for 13 years and look forward to working with them every year. The charity that this particular race benefits is the St. Judes Ranch for Children Emergency Shelter based in New Braunfels. They are part of the St. Judes Ranch For Children based in Bulverde. They work with abused and neglected children and provide much needed care in the community. They like many charities, depend on the funds that these events provide. The St. Judes Jingle Bell run continually grows year after year. When I first started directing it, the average attendance was around 250. We've now grown to over 1500 and could potentially reach 2000 this year. As a result of the growth, we moved venues several years ago to accomodate a larger crowd and give us room to grow. The move was made to Gruene and they have been a great host for the event. I hope that you can come out and help support this great cause and participate in the fun. Everyone runs with jingle bells on their feet so it is a lot of fun to hear all the runners.
There are also many other great events over the next few weeks before the holidays but then it will die down until after New Years. There are a few events on New Years day and those can be a lot of fun if you are willing to get up from a late night to participate. Most races will run later in the day to accomodate both the late risers and the colder weather. It's a great way to start the New Year and the new reso lutions.
Athlete Guild will be hosting a new trail series starting January 5th. We wanted to put together a fun series to create some local competition. We will have three trail races of 5K and 10K distances all held at Eisenhower Park. They will be held on the first Sunday of each month beginning January 5th. The way the series will work is that each race is calculated separately for individual race awards, but the total combined time of all three races will be used to calculate the final series awards. This means that to be eligible for the series awards, you have to run the same distance at each event. You could potentially win a series award simply because you ran each race. We wanted to offer a 5K distance because we know that a lot of you would really like to try trail running but may not want to run the longer distances. This will give everyone an opportunity to run a trail race. We're going to have a lot of fun with this series and will be really trying to make them each special. I hope that you will come out and participate. You'll love it.
See you at the race!