Yet, those dreaded winter doldrums are already threatening to hold hostage too many Cleveland and Bradley County residents atop lumpy couches and who are watching too many lopsided football games and snacking on far too much pre-Christmas delight.
For those nodding their heads in agreement, help is on the way. In fact, it is here and is less than 48 hours away.
It is called the Jingle Bell Jog, a second annual extravaganza hosted by The Salvation Army Cleveland Corps at Fletcher Park which offers more than a couple of benefits to its participants.
One, the Jingle Bell Jog is a fundraiser for an endearing cause; all proceeds are used by the local corps to purchase space heaters and to help pay utility bills for families in need during the coldest months of the coming winter.
Two, the Jingle Bell Jog is an established 5K road race for runners which includes trophies in age categories and gender groups; too, it is a slow jog for the less competitive and a chance for a brisk walk for those who just want some exercise.
Three, the Jingle Bell Jog is a family event; cost to individual runners is $20, but a special family rate — informally dubbed a Blue Light Special — will gain admission for the entire group for just $25 whether the group appeal is sprinting, slow jogging, walking or a mutually agreed upon combination.
Four, the Jingle Bell Jog is an outdoor activity that will get family members and loved ones — parents and kids — out of the living room, away from the giant TV screens and unglued from the video games, while also granting a brief respite from holiday sales and Christmas bargains.
Five, the Jingle Bell Jog will give outdoor enthusiasts an up-close look at one of Cleveland’s hidden treasures, a passive park off Tennessee Nursery Road that is still finding its niche among Bradley County residents who have likely heard of Fletcher Park but might not have seen it with their own eyes nor tread upon its historic grounds with their own feet.
Six, the Jingle Bell Jog is a fun method to ring in the Christmas season; participants and bystanders are even encouraged to wear bells to jingle their way through the spirited morning.
Seven, the Jingle Bell Jog for its second big year is bringing to Cleveland what Cleveland has lacked — a cold-season jaunt that might help to quench the thirst for a road race for those who miss the summer and its weekend opportunities for competitive exercise. (Another one is coming, thanks to Relay for Life of Bradley County. It is the Relay Reindeer Run set for Dec. 10. We’ll have more to say about it later).
For those planning to participate in the Jingle Bell Jog, here’s the skinny for your Saturday morning calendar.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. at Fletcher Park and the running, jogging and walking gets under way at 10 a.m. Participant options are the 5K run or slower jog, and a 1-mile walk.
A long-sleeved Jingle Bell Jog T-shirt bearing the event’s colorful insignia will be given to registered participants; and, goody bags will be handed out as well.
Those who can’t make the Jingle Bell Jog due to scheduling, but who want to support the Salvation Army cause, can mail donations to The Salvation Army, Attention: Jingle Bell Jog, 437 Inman St., Cleveland, TN 37311.
Additional information may be obtained by calling Jim Welch, social service support for the local corps, at 423-380-8178 or sending an email to Welch at email@example.com.
Participants can preregister online at www.clevelandjinglebelljog.com or simply register on-site at Fletcher Park Saturday morning.
What better causes?
The Jingle Bell Jog affords some healthy exercise while helping Cleveland and Bradley County families in need make it through a cold, long winter.
We urge community participation.
Last year more than 80 jingled their way through the jog.
Most will be returning.
How about you?