I don’t know if was all the hot chocolate. Maybe it was the cold and the snow. Most likely it was the spirit of the 50 or so runners who braved the weather and the storm warnings and came out to run together wearing Santa hats and jingle bells. Maybe it all combined to make the first annual Jingle Bell Run so wonderful. Some of the littlest runners ran 1/4 mile (into the wind), circled the North Pole and headed to the 1/2 mile finish at Marathon Park. And many more (families & friends) ran the 2+ mile run around Stone Park. I had the honor of running with an ambitious 4th grader, Charlie, who unknowingly ran past the North Pole turnaround and onto the 2 mile course. He beat me on the home stretch. I thoroughly enjoyed my day as the Ashland Jingle Bell Run’s head elf, maybe too much.