Austin Jingle Bell 5K set for Dec. 13 at Camp Mabry

Participants in the Austin Jingle Bell 5K wear bells as they run. Photo courtesy Austin Jingle Bell 5K
Participants in the Austin Jingle Bell 5K wear bells as they run. Photo courtesy Austin Jingle Bell 5K

What’s better than the sound of shoes slapping pavement during a running race? That sound plus the jangle of holiday bells, of course.

Organizers of the Austin Jingle Bell 5K, set this year for Saturday, Dec. 13, hand out a pair of jingle bells to each participant to wear during the run. All those bells create a festive atmosphere at the family-friendly race, which includes a 5K timed run and a 1K fun run for kids.

Santa Claus is scheduled to make an appearance, and don’t be surprised to see folks dressed as everything from Christmas trees to elves dashing along the course.

Santa Claus will make an appearance at the Jingle Bell 5K. Photo courtesy Austin Jingle Bell 5K
Santa Claus will make an appearance at the Jingle Bell 5K. Photo courtesy Austin Jingle Bell 5K

The race celebrates its 18th running this year.

The kids race starts at 8 a.m., followed by the timed 5K at 8:30 a.m., at Camp Mabry, 2210 West 35th Street. Proceeds benefit Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Entry fee is $35 for the timed 5K ($30 after Dec. 6), $15 for ages 17 and under ($20 after Dec. 6), or $10 for the 1K fun run. To register go here.

Packet pickup will take place at Ready to Run, 3616 Far West Boulevard, from noon to 7 p.m. Dec. 11 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 12.

 

Austin Fit Walking Program gears up for 2016

Kay Horn, an assistant coach, front left, leads this beginning walking group called Art of Fitness that meets week nights in a shopping center on Far West Blvd to walk the neighborhood for low-impact exercise. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Kay Horn, an assistant coach, front left, leads the Art of Fitness walking group in this file photo from May 2015. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

 

I learned last May when I dropped in on a training session with the Austin Fit Walking Program that it’s not always about speed. (Read my story here.)

Some folks prefer to walk for fitness. It offers many of the same benefits, and for many, it’s more inviting and less intimidating. Plus, it’s a great way to socialize.

The Austin Fit Walking Program will celebrate its 20th season this year. A party is set for Saturday. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN
The Austin Fit Walking Program will celebrate its 20th season this year. A party is set for Saturday. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The Austin Fit Walking Program will celebrate 20 years and kick off its upcoming training programs with a party at 10 a.m. Saturday at the South Austin Food Trailer Eatery, 1311 South First Street.

The organization will offer three training programs starting in January:

  • Spring Traditional Half Marathon Training Program: This 17-week program helps participants prepare for a 13.1-mile half marathon. Members get a medal and shirt. The group meets at 7:30 a.m. Saturdays starting Jan. 9 at the Austin Recreation Center, 1301 Shoal Creek Boulevard. Cost is $120.
  • The Art of Fitness: This eight-week interval-based beginner program is comprised of a small group of fitness walkers focused on improving their walking pace. Meets at 6:30 p.m. starting Tuesday, Jan. 12. Multiple locations are offered – the Austin Emergency Center at 3563 Far West Boulevard, or the Austin Emergency Center at 13435 U.S. Highway 183. Cost is $60.
  • Outpost Elgin: This 10-week training program for beginners leads up to the Super Hero Race. Meets at 7 p.m. starting Tuesday, Jan. 12 at Veteran Park, 109 Depot Street. Cost is $75.

For more information, or to register online, go here.