Race #15 – Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis

Crystal and me, rockin’ red!

Race #15: The Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell 5K Run

The Cause: The Arthritis Foundation

This was a special race to me, since I have numerous friends and family members of all ages who have many different forms of arthritis.

DYK? Arthritis is an umbrella term that refers to more than 100 (?!) types of joint diseases. Here are some quick facts:

  • One in 4 Americans have arthritis.
  • More than 53 million American adults have a form of arthritis.
  • It’s the leading cause of disability in the U.S.
  • While there are many different types of arthritis, they all basically limit a person’s mobility and cause stiffness and pain in the joints.
  • Two of the most commonly “prescribed” ways to keep your joints healthy include regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • There are about 100 Jingle Bell 5Ks benefitting the Arthritis Foundation throughout the U.S. this holiday season!
  • So far, the 2019 Jingle Bell 5Ks have raised more than $5 million for the nonprofit Arthritis Foundation. What an amazing impact.
Lining up for the start

It was a very festive atmosphere! Lots of runners were in the holiday spirit, donning unique costumes–look at the left-hand side of the photo above to find the woman who ran in a tree costume! (She beat me and most of my friends–yes, we were beaten by a tree!)

Held at Spring Gate Winery, the race course wound through the adjoining Harrisburg neighborhoods which were quite hilly. But lots of us ran with jingle bells, there were volunteers and spectators cheering, and it was fun to see everyone’s race attire along the way.

Most of the race, there was a man just ahead of me who was running with two dogs. Partway through the race, I realized he was John, the organizer of Gulliver’s Run (which I ran a month ago, to benefit canine cancer research). I literally finished the race right behind him, so I said hello and was thrilled to “meet” his two dogs.

I received a big doggie kiss right before this photo!

There was a fun post-race breakfast and awards ceremony at the winery, with numerous fire pits keeping us warm and toasty. My dear friend Crystal and I enjoyed catching up on our holiday happenings. She asked me how many races I have completed to this point and I told her “Today is 15.” And I loved her reply: “You’re really doing it!”

Definitely, 15 is a nice milestone! I’m looking forward to planning the remaining races into 2020, wrapping up by September, while I’m 50. At this point, it feels wonderful to realize progress in my goal, and even more wonderful to help so many great causes along the way. I hope that in some small way, by writing this blog, and occasionally sharing links on social media, that I am helping to spread awareness of people and organizations that need support. Inspiration is contagious.

A goal is just an awesome way to force growth on yourself.

Deena Kastor

DYK: If you’d like to receive an email every time I complete one of my 50 races, you can “subscribe” on my home page. Thank you so much!


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