Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tallahassee Jingle Bell victories for Garcia and Heddaeus

Tallahassee's 2014 Jingle Bell Run"That was fun!"said Joseph Garcia. "Does anyone know my time?"


No one did, but Garcia's winning time in Tallahassee's 2014 Jingle Bell Run was about 8:27, which is as close as you'll get to an official time in this Saturday night event. There are no results. There are no bib numbers. The course is hardly ever near the posted three kilometers. But, as Garcia observed, it is fun.


This particular edition of the Jingle Bell Run, the opening event of Tallahassee's Winter Festival, started shortly after the scheduled 6:15 PM on Monroe Street near Park Avenue in the downtown area. A loudspeaker counted down, confetti cannons boomed, and thousands of runners headed south.

Joseph Garcia
"For the first half of the race there was someone right behind me," recalled Garcia. "But he went away on the uphill during the second half."


Certainly, there was no one close to Garcia as he flashed over the finish line with a winning 8:27.


For the women's champ, Jillian Heddaeus, it wasn't the first race of the day. That morning Heddaeus had finished second in the women's standings of Gulf Winds Track Club's Ten-Mile Challenge.


Jillian Heddaeus"Nothing like running the hardest ten-mile race around, then coming back for this!" said Heddaeus.


Whatever had happened in the morning, Heddaeus was the first woman across the finish line of the Jingle Bell Run in the evening, running 10:46.


Other than the winners, thousands of runners wearing Santa hats and blinking bow ties ran through the streets of downtown Tallahassee under lights lit for the Winter Festival. Don't look for any of their names in published results. But it was fun.


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