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Jingle Bell Half Marathon & 5K

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The 7th Annual Jingle Bell Half Marathon & 5k has a new home. Join us on Sunday, December 8th, 2019 for another day of scenic New England running! We are relocating to the campus of the Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, MA. Join the fun at New England’s best holiday road race, where you celebrate your finish with an after-party featuring refreshing craft beer, hot soup and cocoa and plenty of snacks!

PS: The new course is much easier and just as pretty!

How to enter the Jingle Bell Half Marathon & 5K

  1. 5K run

    Run 5km
    Event passed
  2. Half Marathon

    Run 13.1mi
    Event passed

Jingle Bell Half Marathon & 5K routes

Half Marathon

The Jingle Bell Half Marathon offers runners a figure 8 loop course through the most rural section along the Merrimack River in Haverhill Massachusetts. The race starts and finishes at the Northern Essex Community College campus which is ideally located off of Route 495. The course is well marked with easy to see mile markers and race marshals at all key locations..

The first loop is an easy 5K that brings you right back to the start area. The course then travels exclusively on rolling rural roads in Haverhill. This course is much easier than the Atkinson course!

There are five water stops along the course, one of which will also have Gatorade and one will have hot chocolate! We know that sometimes nature calls at the when it’s least convenient, that’s why we’ve put portable toilets at two water stops.


Grab your holiday costumes and get ready for fun! The 5k course is great for runners and walkers of all ages and fitness levels. It follows the same route as the half marathon for the first three miles then splits off and finishes at the start area on the Northern Essex Community College. This is a gently rolling course with no tough hills.

Event Details

What’s Included
Half marathoners get a wicking long-sleeve pullover while 5k runners get an awesome cotton-blend short-sleeve tee!

All runners get treated to hot soup, hot chocolate, granola bars, Stonyfield yogurt, and Hint water at the post-race party inside the Sports Center!

As if that weren’t awesome enough, runners 21+ get two tasty craft beer from our friends at Smuttynose Brewing Company!

Half marathoners also get a commemorative medal!

Not only do you get a wonderful day of amazingly scenic running, but you’re also treated to an after-party in the Sports and Fitness Center at NECC, featuring FREE bone-warming hot chocolate & soup, healthy granola bars, bananas and Hint flavored water. As if that weren’t awesome enough, runners 21+ get two tasty craft beers! The best part? It’s all included with your registration!

Prizes are awarded to the top 3 men and women finishers overall, and to the top 3 men and women in the following categories: 19 & Under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70+. Awards must be picked up at the race inside the Sports Center, look for the Awards Table. They will not be mailed.
Raceday Logistics
Packet pick-up will be held at Sport and Fitness Center at NECC on the morning of the race from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. where you’ll receive your bib and commemorative race tee! Half marathoners will get their medals at the Finish, as always. Shirts won’t be mailed out after the event if you don’t pick yours up, so don’t oversleep!
We discourage spectators from driving out on the course, as many of the roads are narrow and this will cause a safety hazard. Spectators will enjoy seeing all the runners at mile 3 as the half marathon and 5K course loop back right by the start area.
Can we run with Dogs?

No, we love dogs but they’re not allowed on the course during the race. And, they are not allowed on the grounds of the Campus.

Can I run with headphones?

We discourage the use of headphones on the course because with them in, it’s harder for you to hear the race marshals and oncoming traffic.

Can I run with a baby stroller?

No, for safety reasons strollers are not allowed on the course during this race.

Is there an age limit?

No, we allow anyone to run this race. With that said, you should be prepared and cleared to run the distance you signed up for. Minors will be required to have a parent/ guardian signature to participate in the half marathon.

Is there a time limit?

We’ll keep the half marathon course open in accordance with a 3:30 hours finish time, or approximately 16 minutes per mile. We’ll keep the signs on the course up for the very last person, but water stops may be self serve in the later stops. A timer, clock, and medals will be available for everyone that finishes. There’s no time limit for the 5k.

Are the roads closed for the race?

The roads are NOT closed for this race. We have police and race marshals at all corners, but please be aware of traffic on the course. We put a lane of cones for the runners in high-traffic areas. Please stay within the cones for your own safety.

Will there be a bag check?

Parking is right at the start/finish at Northern Essex Community College, so there won’t be a bag check!

Where are the water stops?
There will be 5 aid stations (4 fluids, 1 gel):
Water – Miles 1.8, 4.7, 7.5 and 10.5
Gel – Mile 7.4
Gatorade – Mile 4.7
Hot Cocoa: Mile 10.5

Where are the bathrooms?

You may use the Athletic Centers bathrooms as well as port-o-potties outside in the parking lot.

What shirt sizes are available?

Shirts are available in men’s and women’s sizes (S-XXL). You select a unisex size during online registration but we allow you to choose a different size at packet pick-up because we know that sometimes shirts fit a little differently than you expected. However, because people can change their minds at the last minute, we don’t actually know how many of each size to order. We do our best to estimate (and we even order extras), but sometimes we run out of a particular size. So, if it’s really important that you get a specific size, be sure to arrive at packet pick-up as early as possible.

What happens if it snows?

Your safety and the safety of our wonderful volunteers and police are always top priority. Should the police indicate that conditions are not safe on the roads due to weather, we’ll cancel or postpone the race.

About GPS course measurements

The course is certified and accurate according to USATF standards. However your GPS measurement of the course is bound to be different and will most likely show the distance covered to be “long.” This is normal, and here’s a very technical explanation why: In GPS We Trust.

Jingle Bell Half Marathon & 5K weather forecast

Clear throughout the day.

Predicted highs
Predicted lows
IconLight breeze possible, up to 6mph

Meet the organizer

Rugged Maniac

Verified organizer

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Rugged Maniac
Remember when you were a kid and you used to run around outside with your friends climbing trees, jumping in puddles, playing tag, and just plain having fun? Well Rugged Maniac is simply an adult version of that! We build 25+ epic obstacles for you and your friends to play on (like fire jumps, water slides, trampolines, and underground tunnels), put them in a 3-mile course, and then throw a crazy party with plenty of beer and music!

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