Race Director, Therese Larson, and the Traverse City Track Club welcomed approximately 600 runners and walkers to the 20th (or is it the 21st?) annual Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk starting and finishing in the Warehouse District, Sunday, December 17 at 5PM. Free for TCTC members, Runners were decked out in their finest lights and colorful Holiday garb. Santa’s were everywhere along with elves, and raindeer. Even the Grinch may have made his annual appearance. A seemingly endless table of holiday cookies were provided by The Old Mission Woman’s Club. The Workshop Brewery, was a main sponsor, as host. Donations were also received from Fresh Coast (hot chocolate), Hotel Indigo, Right Brain Brewery, Running Fit, Dairy Lodge, Harrington’s, and Minerva’s. The race couldn’t have happened without the support of these many volunteers and course marshalls; Leland Cross Country Team, St Mary’s Cross Country Team, TC West Girl’s Track Team, TC West Boy’s Cross Country Team and The TC Central Girl’s Track Team.
My “winner” of the race finished in the middle of the pack. He was not the fastest, but he is without a doubt, the bravest. Tim Ewing, 51, suffered a heart attack in 2010. Along with the heart attack, Tim had blood clots in his lungs. Tim has dropped over 20 pounds. Running helps Tim continue on his path to good health. Congratulations to my Jingle bell “winner”. Tim, you provide us an important reason to run for better health. Tim was accompanied by his doctor, Dave Nicolaou, who lost 54 pounds and has completed five marathons. A doctor who runs and has lost huge amounts of weight must have a good reason to run and is a lesson in better health to us all. Tim and Dave were accompanied by Bill Ewing, 54, and Jason Allen, 54, both of Traverse City. It was recently announced that former State Senator Allen has a new government position funded with more than one billion dollars and with 120 employees. Congratulations to Eagle Scout, Jason Allen, who was important helping my sons, Zack and Adam, earn their Eagle Scout honors. We were happy to learn Jason’s daughter is a Freshman at UM, GO BLUE, with Junior status!!
Scott and Jan Baty, and two sets of identical grandchild twins, Hank & Elvis, and Betty and Roxy Hall, all from Traverse City, won the costume prize, dressing as green garbed elves. They were a sight to behold. A few years ago, Jan broke her hip. Running has helped her recover from the tough hip surgery. Scott’s blood pressure has dropped over 20 points to 122/78 aided by a 20 pound drop in weight. Baty’s, you are a pleasure to run with and are always a delightful surprise. Amy Brady, 46, of Acme, runs to relieve stress (Amy needs a stress reliever. Amy is a Kindergarten teacher in Elk Rapids.) She runs to be physically healthy. Amy says; “Running is a great way to spend time with my ‘running tribe’.” Beanie Send, 43, from Williamsburg, runs for friendships and to help her cardio. Beanie has only been training seriously for a few weeks. She went from “couch potato to 5K” so she walks less and runs more. Donna Send, 44, from Williamsburg, has a goal of running a half marathon in every state. Donna was sporting a New York Half Marathon tee shirt. She has lost 25 pounds over two years and says she feels better when she runs. Quinten Henderson, 11, of TC and his buddy Vishin Berden, 9, run because it makes them feel good. Mary Beth Sellers, 57, TC, runs to clear her mind and to relieve anxiety.
Russell, and Karen Whitney of Lake City, are 52 & 53 years old. Karen’s dad was the first girl’s track coach at Marion High School. Karen remembers girl’s track practices. She accompanied her dad when she was a 3rd grader. Karen started running young and has never stopped. Larry Lewis, 65 of TC, power-walks because he wants to live a long time. He has been trying to stay in shape his life. Larry is an outdoor guy. He retired from Gordon Food Service after 40 years. Larry says “I am ready to have some fun.” James Larsen, 53, of Frankfort, ran with his sister, Tina Noffsinger, 56. Tina was a sprinter in high school. Tina stopped running when she discovered she had cancer in 2003. She recovered from the cancer and started running again to achieve her own goals. Oddly enough, Tina had been a member of The American Cancer Society “Relay for Life” many years before she discovered her own cancer.
Race director, Therese Larson, hopes to see you at next year’s TCTC Jingle Bell Run. Santas and Elves are welcome. Always talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Your author, Mickey Fivenson, has trained over 150,000 miles in 48 years of running. He has completed over 60 marathons and holds one marathon world record with his sons, Zack and Adam. Mickey is the former director of the National Cherry Festival Runs. Mickey’s doctors credit running toward surviving several strokes. If you’d like Mickey to cover your race, if you need tips on training, email mickey at telecomclassifiedads dot com.