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Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

MWR's Jingle Bell Jog brings holiday cheer to JBLM

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive for the start of the annual JBLM Jingle Bell Jog 5K at the American Lake Conference Center in 2016. Photo courtesy MWR

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With the extravagant meals and family gatherings of turkey day behind us and the glowing lights and sparkling wrapping paper of Christmas ahead of us, it's no wonder that families at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) are gearing up for the annual JBLM 5K Jingle Bell Jog & 1K Reindeer Romp.

"The race gives servicemembers and their families and civilian employees an opportunity to get outside, run and have fun with other community members," said Kevin Hall, the facility manager of Wilson Sports & Fitness Center and organizer of this year's Jingle Bell Jog. "It's a great opportunity to get out and be healthy during the holiday season. It's a way to focus on fitness, too."

This winter's Jingle Bell Jog will be held Saturday, Dec. 9, at Wilson Sports & Fitness Center on Lewis North. The family-friendly event is open to the public. It will include festive Christmas music, oversized and inflatable Christmas decorations, an Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest, giveaways and prizes. There will also be photo opportunities with Santa, Mrs. Claus and their helpers.

"I'm most excited to see the Ugly Sweater Contest and to give away all our prizes," said Hall, who has been working with MWR since 2004. While MWR organizes the Jingle Bell Jog every year, this winter's fun-run is the first Hall has organized himself.

"There's a strong sense of community here (at JBLM), and you see it by looking at the races," Hall continued. "Every race gets larger and larger each year. We get more and more participants."

The Jingle Bell Jog is expected to bring in over 600 participants this year, which is an increase over last year's final count of nearly 550, according to Hall. All registered racers will receive long-sleeve T-shirts, and those who brave the early-morning chill to complete the fun-run will also receive a finisher's medal.

Readers who are unaffiliated with the military are welcome to sign up for the JBLM 5K Jingle Bell Jog & 1K Reindeer Romp, as the event is open to the public.

JBLM 5k Jingle Bell Jog & 1K Reindeer Romp, 7:30-9:30 a.m., packet pick-up; 9:30 a.m., Reindeer Romp; 10 a.m., Jingle Bell Jog, Saturday, Dec. 9, Wilson Sports & Fitness Center, 11596 D St. & 41st Division, Lewis North, $10-$35, 253.967.7471,

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