Jingle! Jingle! Jingle!

BY NEAL RIEMENSCHNEIDER

MILLWOOD, VA--What do you get when you give 130 runners jingle bells to put in their shoes so they can wear them when they race? A headache!

This is what happened at the Shenandoah Valley Runners Jingle Bell 5K held on December 15. Race officials thought it would be amusing to issue runners the bells when they registered so the course could be filled with the sound of tinkling bells. After about a half mile, this Scrooge found it all very annoying! Here we are running a very scenic course in and around Blandy Farms Arboretum taking in the bucolic setting and this insipid jingling is echoing around the course!

Jared Prunty, 19, home from college, had the quietest run as he sped to the lead at the gun and won in 16:31. "I am getting ready for the indoor track season at college and I wanted to come here and get in a hard workout," explained the Elon College student. Finishing in second was Ted Poulos in 16:42 while 17-year-old David Bolton (17:08) took third.

In the women's race, 33-year-old Susan Musante, from Arlington, VA, took the first place prize stopping the clock at 20:39. "I felt really comfortable the whole way and I enjoyed the scenic course." The fight for second was tight as Katherine Lowery (21:29) just nipped Sandy Adams (21:30) at the finish. And, oh yes, Ruth wants me to mention that she was the first female to finish who was running with a dog (there were three others). She hoofed it with our mutt Frazier (readers of my work--all two of you--will recall that I must be kind to Ruth whenever I can).

There were 130 finishers on a very balmy Saturday morning in December. Robie Cone, 78, kicked up his heels finishing in 41:46 while many youngsters under the age of 12 also participated.

Kudos to Race Director Patrick Farris for a fun and enjoyable event. Patrick teaches at Warren County High School, in Front Royal, and is one of those fine fellows who loves what he does with a passion. His wife, Krista, is the big shot in the family as she is an area celebrity. She is the newsperson for our local radio station WINC.