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Medford Jingle Bell Run 2016

Medford Jingle Bell Run and Walk

Come join the 4th Annual Medford Jingle Bell Run 5K.

Thanksgiving weekend is a wonderful time for families to get together and have some fun. After your Thanksgiving feast, come out and enjoy the fresh air with family and friends!

Medford Jingle Bell Run 5kAll proceeds from the Medford Jingle Bell 5K benefit Medford schools. The PTOs from each school in town are participating and each school will receive a portion of the proceeds to fund student activities.

The race is a great way to kick off your holiday season and help support programs in the Medford schools.

You can run or walk the 5K. Strollers are welcomed also, but the race organizers ask that you line up near the back of the runners.

On-line registration closed last night. But you can still register tonight from 6-7pm (Nov. 25th) at The American Legion Hall at 321 Winthrop Street in Medford, or tomorrow morning starting at 8:30.


Registration fees are:

  • $10 for kids under age 11
  • $15 for kids 11-18
  • $25 for adults in advance or $30 day of race

Race Day registration and number pick-up begins at 8:30 a.m. at The American Legion Hall at 321 Winthrop Street in Medford.

Free t-shirts will be given to all who registered online by November 11th.

The race is sponsored by Lonergan Insurance and Real Estate and Members Plus Credit Union.

My First 5K, running medal, omni runningIs this your First 5K? Are you running with someone who is running their First 5K Race?

If you answered yes then treat yourself or your runner to a “My First 5K medal”

This marathon quality medal is $9.95 and all proceeds benefit the schools of Medford.

Never forget your First 5K!


Omni Running Sponsors Run for All Ages 2016

Omni Running Sponsors Wakefield Educational Foundation

The New England 65+ Runners Club sponsors the Wakefield Educational Foundation with their Omni Running Sponsors Wakefield Educational Foundationannual, Run for All Ages 5K race. For the past three years Omni Running has sponsored the Run for All Ages with the My First 5K Medal.

Omni Running Sponsorship continues to grow each year. For the first time the My First 5K Medal was offered on the registration form and web page. This was a big help increasing our sponsorship.

Run For All Ages 2016

This race is a celebration of running for all ages and well into our golden years. Two runners were in their 90s: Lou Peters and Robert Hunter. The oldest woman to finish, Phyllis Mays, is in her 80s. The oldest man to finish in the top 10 was Fabio Piergentili of Andover, aged 53 in 8th place at 17:45.

The youngest runners were 8 years old! Several more were 9 year olds, Tweens and Teens.

Run for All Ages 2016The top male runner was Antonio Wilson of Everett with a finish time of 15:19 and an impressive pace of 4:56! I believe that this was a new course record.

The top 10 finishers all ran a 6:00 pace or less. The top 28 finishers all ran a 7:00 pace or less. Five of those runners were in their 60s!

The top female runner was Meghan Weaver of Peabody with a finish time of 19:11 and a 6:11 pace!

Runners come from all over to run this race. Cameron Dorn is from South Carolina and came in 4th over all. All of the New England states, except Connecticut, were represented. Several runners came in from New York and Florida to run the race. Possibly students or Snow Birds.

Encouraging Young Runners

omni running sponsors run for all ages, my first 5k medalI have run this race several times but found it distracting to both run and sponsor the race.

Providing medals to first time runners requires my full attention. I enjoy talking to these new runners and seeing the look in their eye. They may be a little nervous, but they are also proud and happy to be participating in this event.

I love talking to them one runner to another. While mom or dad stands by I talk to them as equals. I may be old enough to be their grand father, but today we are two runners talking about a race.

The medal is a symbol of their accomplishment. Today they will accomplish and complete something few of their friends have, a 5K race. I hope that talking to them as equals helps them feel comfortable and accepted into the running culture. My goal is to help create life time runners.

Affirmations of love and pride

Not everyone who runs their first 5K is a youngster. The first person to buy a medal three years ago was close to retirement. She was just as excited about running her first race as a person a quarter of her age!

This year I got to put medals around the neck of several First 5K runners. Most of them were not yet teens but one runner was an adult. I’ll never forget the smiles on their faces.

One girl seemed a little embarrassed that her mother bought a medal for her. I’m sure that as time goes by she will look at that medal and remember how proud her mother is of her.

Every child wants their parents to be proud of them, even if it appears otherwise. Some people go their entire life seeking that affirmation from the most important person in their lives.

Several children received that affirmation of pride and love at the Run for All Ages 2016. It was an honor to be a small part of that.



2016 My First 5K Medal

2016 My First 5K Medal Design

It’s time to finalize the design for the 2016 My First 5K Medal, and I need your help. For the past two years I have put the race year on the bottom of the medal. This has worked well, but it’s time to update the medal.

The idea behind the My First 5K medal is to provide a medal for runners to celebrate their accomplishment, and help races with fund raising. I want to provide a quality medal that is not prohibitively expensive. Getting the balance between quality and price is a challenge.

Catalog medals do not have dates because they are mass-produced. A race like The Boston Marathon has the full race date, but they hand out 40,000 medals and runners pay a lot of money to run that race.

What do runners want?

I’ve received plenty of catalog medals and I’ve run plenty of races without a medal. This year I ran The Great Bay Half Marathon and received the medal on the left of the photo below. The ribbon held a quality medal and the year was on the ribbon.

I thought this was a great idea. It’s much easier to see the year on the ribbon and knowing which year the medal is from is all I need to know. Then I ran the Hallmark Health Healthy Strides 5K and received the medal in the middle for being first in my age group. Only winners received medals, none of the kids or other runners who ran their first 5K that day received a medal.

I like the gold print on the blue ribbon. The ribbon only says Hallmark Health and does not name the race, year or say 1st place or anything. Hopefully twenty years from now I will remember when I ran this race. The medal is a catalog medal which is mass produced.

My First 5K Medal is on the right of the photo below. You can see the year on the bottom of this medal. To keep the medal price reasonable, the year is as specific as I can get.

The problem with this design is that any left over medals at the end of the year are scrap. Who wants a medal with the wrong date on it? This is to celebrate an accomplishment, it’s not just a trinket.

My plan is to use a ribbon like Great Bay and remove the year from the medal. In its place I will put the celebratory laurel leaves. The overall look of the My First 5K Medal will remain the same including the same finish.

The ribbon will be wider, use a similar white font and the ribbon hanger will be a bit more substantial. Anyone who has seen the My First 5K Medal knows how it feels in your hand and the weight: it’s a real medal.

My goal is to eliminate scrap medals, reduce costs and increase fund raising for races and the charities that they support.

I’m asking for your opinion and advice. Will you take my survey and let me know how you feel about my new design?


2016 my first 5k medal

Run for All Ages 2014

The wind blew off of Lake Quannapowitt and chilled the cold, damp air as 276 runners prepared for the Run for All Ages.

Lou Peter, run for all agesEach year the race is a celebration of running for all ages. This year the celebration was also for Lou Peter’s 90th birthday. Lou ran a 46:25 5K and celebrated his birthday and race finish with a cake large enough for every one.

The oldest finisher of the race was Robert Hunter of Tewksbury at age 91!

The male winner was Zack Schwartz from Brookline, MA. and the female winner was Kara Haas from Chelmsford, MA. Zach ran a 15:46 5K and Kara ran a 17:59 5K. See their photos and full results on coolrunning.

The kids are alright

All races have young runners and the “Run for all Ages” is no exception. In the 01-09 bracket there were 9 boys and 6 girls who finished the race. In the 10-14 age bracket there were also 9 boys and 6 girls who finished.

Jacob Plourde of Melrose was the youngest runner at 6 years of age. Jacob ran a 48:27 5K. Very impressive.

A Marathon Journey Begins

First 5K medal, 5K, RunnerI met Sabrina Gray of Dorchester who was running her first 5K. Sabrina recently retired and is on a mission to run the 2016 Boston Marathon. Sabrina ran a 40:55 5K race and is off to a great start in her Quest for Boston.

It was a thrill for me to hand a “MyFirst5K” medal to her husband. He met her at the finish line with her medal and later came back to my table to get her “My First 5K” bib sticker.

When they came back to see me they were both excited. You can see the joy on her face.

I hope Sabrina enjoys her first race medal and draws inspiration from it on those days when it may be difficult to go out and get in the miles. Hopefully we will hear from Sabrina and follow her Journey to Boston.

Run well my friends,