Sunday, December 8, 2013

Rain on their parade doesn't dampen Hollander or Taylor's Christmas spirits

Connor HollanderHolding his position with a strong finishing kick, Florida State University freshman Connor Hollander won the 2013 Jingle Bell Run 3K in downtown Tallahassee on Saturday evening, 7 December. Hollander, formerly a middle-distance runner at Coral Springs Charter School, finished the race in 8:34. Lindsay Taylor was the first woman across the finish line, running 11:14. Taylor is pursuing graduate studies in sports nutrition at Florida State. In spite of forecasts of wet weather, thousands of athletes showed up once again for the annual event.

Jingle Bell Run 2013Before you get excited by the times, consider that the course was somewhere around 300 meters short of three kilometers. Inaccurate courses are a sort of tradition at the Jingle Bell Run. The race route changes frequently, long some years and short others. The distance was allegedly a just-right 3,000 meters in 1988 according to USATF course certification records, but the times from that year would be impossible to check on--another Jingle Bell Run tradition is that no complete race results are ever published.

Lindsay TaylorBut that's not what people come for in their thousands. Mostly, everyone is there to run around the streets of Tallahassee in the dark, wearing Santa caps and blinky lights. It's a chance to be part of the Winter Festival parade before the parade actually begins. For this, people endure the crowds and the twenty minutes of pre-run announcements. During this year's pre-event speeches, the weather went from threatening to a drizzle. By the time the runners had cleared the streets a light rain was falling. No one seemed to mind rain on this parade, though.


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