(Nov. 30, 2018) Jingle Bell 5K participants have the opportunity to run through the Winterfest of Lights, this Sunday at Northside Park on 125th Street, from 5-6:30 p.m.
“We just thought it would be a great idea to let family and friends run through the festival of lights together before they start the tram ride through,” Chris Klebe, event organizer, said. “We thought it would be a neat idea and the idea took off.”
Participants will run or walk through the Christmas lights display twice. When it concludes, hot chocolate, cookies and a long-sleeve T-shirt will be waiting at the finish line. All runners will receive a free ride on the Winterfest Express.
“They start right outside the gates of the Winterfest of Lights, then to the park through the lights. They do one big loop through, and then they go out of the park and go behind the Montego Bay Shopping Center,” Klebe said. “It’s a quarter mile there and a quarter mile back for another loop around the Winterfest of lights and then to the finish.”
Last year, 230 participants signed up and 190 completed the entire race.
During the post-race party, at Tequila Mockingbird on 129th Street in the Montego Bay Shopping Center, the first-place male and female finishers in seven age categories will be presented awards.
The cost to participate is $40 for adults and $25 for runners 12 and under. Registration will be held inside Tequila Mockingbird from 3:30-4:45 p.m. on Dec. 3.
Organizers encouraged participants to bring a donation for the Toys for Tots Program.
“We had a lot of smiling faces that night running through the lights and getting a firsthand look at them from the ground instead of the train,” Klebe said. “The Town of Ocean City does such a wonderful job setting up those big lights starting way back in the early fall, it’s a lot of hard work doing what they do.
“We’re looking forward to gearing in [this] weekend and I hope to see some people come out, sign up and enjoy themselves,” he added.
For more information, visit www.octrirunning.com.