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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, December 14, 2001

Island Excursion
Run mixes competitive, holiday spirits

By Derek Paiva
Advertiser Staff Writer

The Jingle Bell Run isn't about how fast you finish, but about the competitions along the way. Although the human costume competition won't happen this year, there will be singing and pet contests.
No matter how many times word is put out each year about The Honolulu Advertiser Jingle Bell Run not technically being a timed running contest — like, say, the Honolulu Marathon — people still show up stretching and warming up with the purpose of leaving other entrants in the dust.

"There's actually a lot of people whose whole thing is to get in there and actually run it," said Jingle Bell Run committee spokeswoman Shirlie Katzenberger, still baffled by this quirky fun-run fact even after four years on the all-volunteer committee. "If the run starts at 6 p.m., they're at the finish line at 10 after."

Organizers of tomorrow evening's 17th annual Jingle Bell Run expect no different, but warn the quick-footed, once again, that they'll be missing out on the real deal competitions of the two-mile downtown Honolulu run. Three separate competitions, in fact.

Though the human costume contest was eliminated this year because of waning interest in recent JB runs, prizes will still be awarded for:

  • Best Singing Group (first-, second- and third-place awards to groups of six or more, who judges at designated stations on the route deem to have the best Christmas spirit, creativity and choreography, and actual singing ability).
  • Largest Singing Group (one award each in group categories: youths 18 and younger, family and friends, and military).
  • Canine Costume Contest (a wholly separate competition for the pup with the best sense of Christmas haute couture).

Just F.Y.I., there's no prize (save for maybe all the ice-cold water you can drink) for the quickest group to the Aloha Tower Marketplace finish line and after-party.

"This is really about fun and family entertainment and doing something good for the community," Katzenberger said.

Once again, money collected from entry fees will go to Special Olympics Hawaii and The Honolulu Advertiser Christmas Fund. That fund goes to Community Clearinghouse, which helps the homeless and needy in Honolulu.

"Last year's event raised $40,000, which each charity split in half," Katzenberger said earlier this week. She expected this year's runner count would end up within range of last year's 2,500 entrants. "We signed up 300 people last weekend, and when your story hits ... well, Saturday should be real interesting."

Packet pick-up and last-minute entries will be accepted tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in The Advertiser Building lobby. Each participant gets a 2001 Jingle Bell Run T-shirt and a couple of sleigh bells for the run.

"And if there's still a line at 1 p.m., we'll take 'em all," Katzenberger said.

• • •

Jingle Bell Run

6 p.m. Saturday

Starts at corner of King and Alapa'i streets; ends at Aloha Tower Marketplace

Entries are $30 for adults, $23 per person for groups of four or more, and $10 for children 12 and younger. The public can watch for free.

Call 943-8808, ext. 66

Related Events:

  • Entertainment by Moe Keale at the start line, and Imua at the finish line.
  • Free Fuji Film photos with Santa for all who donate new, unwrapped toys to Toys For Tots.
  • Canine Costume Contest entries registration at 4:45 p.m., judging at 5 p.m., near starting line. Owners must be registered run participants.
  • Jingle Bell Run after-party and awards at 7 p.m. at Kapono's At The Pier, Aloha Tower Marketplace.
  • Hawaii Yacht Club Christmas Boat Parade follows in harbor after Jingle Bell Run party.
  • Free parking at municipal lot near King/Alapa'i start. Free trolley from Aloha Tower back to the start after run.