Runners pour from the starting line at Phoebe HealthWorks during a previous Jingle Bell Jog in this file photo. The 26th annual event to benefit Children’s Miracle Network is set to kick off at 8 a.m. on Saturday. (Albany Herald file photo)
ALBANY — One of Albany’s most widely known and popular events, the Jingle Bell Jog benefit for Children’s Miracle Network, will be conducted for the 26th consecutive year Saturday starting from Phoebe HealthWorks.
The event will consist of a 5K and 10K run, a one-mile fun walk and a toddler trot starting from Phoebe HealthWorks located at 311 W. Third Ave. across from Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. The first event will be the 10K, which starts at 8 a.m., followed by the toddler trot — a two-lap event around the track at HealthWorks — at 8:30 a.m., the one-mile walk at 9:15 a.m. and the 5K at 9:30 a.m. The awards ceremony will be at 10:30 a.m.
The 5K and 10K races have age categories ranging from 6-9 years to 75 and up. The one-mile event is open to all ages and the toddler trot is being conducted for children up to 4 years of age and their families. In all, roughly 1,000 participants expected to make their way through the streets of Albany’s Rawson Circle neighborhood while children will be cheering them on by ringing bells at the start and finish lines.
There were 1,000 participants in last year’s race, with 900-1,000 registered for this year’s event by Thursday afternoon, said Amanda Biery, Children’s Miracle Network coordinator at Phoebe.
“We are hoping for an increase (from last year),” she said.
Each participant will receive a Jingle Bell Jog long-sleeved T-shirt. Awards will be presented to the top three male and female finishers in each age group for the 5K and 10K, with the top male and female over the age of 40 in those races receiving Prestigious Masters Awards. Everyone crossing the finish line will receive a ticket and a chance to win door prizes.
The Jingle Bell Jog is an affiliate of Run and See Georgia and has a USA Track and Field certified course. The course for the 5K and 10K goes onto Willson Way to Second Avenue and Third Avenue, Harding Street, Fourth Avenue, Cleveland Street, Fifth Avenue, McKinley Street, Sixth Avenue, Davis Drive, Rawson Drive, back to Fifth Avenue and then to Jackson Street before coming to the finish line. The one-mile event also goes onto Willson Way and from there goes to Second Avenue, Monroe Street, Fifth Avenue, Jackson Street and Fourth Avenue up to Phoebe HealthWorks.
All the proceeds raised from the event will go to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network, and will be used to purchase equipment and provide education considered vital to helping ill and injured children at Phoebe.
“It gives the experience of a much larger facility at home (rather than transferring them to a hospital out of town),” said Biery. ” … Every dollar raised stays in Southwest Georgia to treat children here.”
The jog is the biggest Children’s Miracle Network event held in the area during the year. In 2012, there was about $70,000 produced from the fundraiser, Biery said.
Online registration is open on www.active.com through today at 11 p.m. Registration fees today are $25, and $30 on race day. Registration and packet pick-up will be available at Phoebe HealthWorks today from 8 a.m.-7 p.m., and beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday. Advance registration is preferred, but same day registration at the site will be accepted.
The cost for the toddler trot is $15.
For more information, go to www.support phoebe.org or call (229) 312-4483.