NYRR’s annual Jingle Bell Jog brought more than 5,000 runners out to Brooklyn for four miles around Prospect Park. The event served as a fundraiser for NYRR’s youth programs and helped to raise more than $300,000 for Mighty Milers and Young Runners. Prior to the four-miler, more than 500 runners ages 7–12 took part in the three-quarter-mile Reindeer Run.
In the spirit of the season, Reindeer Runners received antler headbands in lieu of the traditional race T-shirt, while Jingle Bell Joggers were given candy-cane-striped knee-high socks. All participants had jingle bells to wear on their shoes, and runners who donated $25 to NYRR’s sneaker drive earned a special elf’s hat.
A few racers used their creativity to design special costumes. Among several runners in Santa Claus suits were a number of elves, snowmen, penguins, and even a gingerbread man for runners to try to catch.
Husband-and-wife team Jim and Lauren Russo of Manhattan ran dressed as the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who, respectively, with Jim wearing the full green make-up and Santa suit. Slipping just under the 30-minute barrier today, he admitted, “The suit got a little heavy, but I powered through.”
Nancy Lam of Queens dressed as a Christmas tree—complete with miniature gift boxes—and made use of her night running gear to attach battery-powered lights to her sweater.
The New York Athletic Club led the way in both the men’s and women’s races, sweeping the top three places in each division. First to the finish line was James Kelly in 19:54, with Robert Hartnett second in 20:27 and David Saunders soon after in 20:43. Sarah Cummings broke the tape for the women in 22:16, and was followed by teammates Esther Erb in 22:34 and Delilah DiCrescenzo in 22:46. The three NYAC women placed fifth through seventh overall.
Thanks to the relatively short race distance, runners were able to finish and reunite with friends well ahead of the rain that came later in the day.