Runners look for any reason to put on their running shoes. The running community here in Joplin, Missouri, found the perfect excuse to throw on some festive attire along with their sneakers this evening. My friends, Jenna and Nate, organized the third annual Rockin’Around the Frisco Trail. This wasn’t just an ordinary trail run. The fun didn’t stop with the holiday outfits either!
Runners had a couple rules to follow: show some holiday spirit with your gear and bring a donation for the Joplin Humane Society. My husband, daughter and I rocked some outrageous Christmas sweaters with elf hats and brought bags of dog food to donate. Runners assembled in groups of 10 or so people who ran about four miles through the neighborhood along the trail. Sounds like fun, right? There’s more.
Runners followed their maps on a scavenger hunt of sorts. We had to find holiday bags that included notes with directions and supplies for challenges along the way. To keep us honest, we had to document completion using our cell phones for video or pictures. We had to sing “Jingle Bells” while wearing reindeer ears, jump as a group with Santa caps, dress a fellow teammate as a Christmas tree and a snowman, pass a wreath along through our team without using arms, get a gingerbread cookie from the forehead to the mouth without hands. You get the picture! Some teams were more competitive than others-practically sprinting from challenge to challenge. One team may or may not have cheated just a little bit. It didn’t matter in the end. It was about spending time together with friends!
All around this quiet little neighborhood trail, there were the sounds of jingle bells as runners passed by wearing headlamps and Christmas lights. After performing the final challenge, we were treated to hot chocolate with marshmallows. We laughed and sang Christmas carols as we ran, celebrating the holiday season by sharing an experience that we will all remember with smiles.
And, we filled Santa’s red truck with food and supplies for the pets at the humane society. Yep–it was an awesome night to be a runner in Joplin!