Greetings from Northern Michigan! We arrived here Saturday night with Louie in tow. It was an adventurous drive and one we have been dreading because little Louie has a tendency to get car sick. But we made it here with a clean car and dog!
There is just a “dusting” of snow here for this time of year, about 2-3 inches, and the temperatures are relatively moderate. This is perfect because last night we went to Traverse City to join in on an evening Jingle Run put on by the Traverse City Track Club. We were really looking forward to this race. Typically, as many of you know, I despise 5K’s. Regardless of how much I intend to just go and have a fun run, my Type A personality takes over and I end up pushing myself like it is a 3.1 mile sprint. It always ends ugly.
But this race was a fun run, as in not chip timed. For a $15 race fee you received a jingle bell for your shoe and a great race hat. I don’t wear my race shirts for actual races but in keeping with the vibe I threw on the hat and it was surprisingly warm and festive! Participants were also asked to bring a canned good to put towards a local pantry. I love the holiday season and any excuse to share the holiday love with those who might need some extra help. How perfect is a race that gives back?!
Oh did I mention that there was a post race pizza buffet? And we all hung out in a warm ballroom until the start of the race when we simply just herded down the streets of beautiful downtown Traverse City. If you have never visited, it is a truly picturesque place. Personally I think summer is the time to be here when the crystal clear beaches are paradise and rail trails span for miles and miles for your running pleasure. But in the winter there are plenty of places to downhill ski, snowboard, cross country ski, and snowshoe. Plus Traverse City has lots of great little shops and boutiques to visit as well as many incredible restaurants. It is a foodie’s dream come true!
Even better my friends Jerry, Brandy, and Patrick (who all happen to also be MDA Team Momentum members) joined in on the fun. While Jerry’s costume may have been just slightly sacrilegious he did take home the top prize for best costume, a free night’s stay at the Park Place Hotel.
There is something really special about doing a race not for the medal or PR but instead to join the running community and give back. There were no commemorative shirts to be had or top prizes for age groups. But I did get to run with some special friends and catch up with them over a few miles along the streets as we enjoyed the holiday lights. In many ways isn’t that what running is about? We are a giving community and so many of us use our running as a way to be involved in various charities. Often times it is the charity that brings us to running in the first place.
I love this time of year. I love buying gifts for others and seeing the smiles on children’s faces. In fact when I got out of the car yesterday to pick up our packets I ran into Santa on the sidewalk. He waved to me and watched me look at the parking meter. He kindly told me that we didn’t have to pay on Sundays. I thanked him and wished him a Merry Christmas and he wished me the same. I felt like a little girl all giddy to be chatting with Santa.
We spend so much time discussing the stress of holiday shopping or travel. We worry about making it to every holiday party or how to pay the bills with all of our extra shopping. This time of year should be a special time full of family, friends and charitable giving. A simple fun run was such a wonderful way for us to relax and enjoy this time of year, be with our friends, and have the opportunity to give to those who could use some help.
Happy holidays friends!
What is your favorite holiday tradition or way to get in the spirit?