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Sunday, December 3, 2000 -- Reston, VA
Jingle Bell for Arthritis 8K
Story and photos by Beth Herr

[Details] [Coverage]
Results: [O/A 1-260] [261-620] [By Class 00-39] [40-99]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6]

Convertible Santa
Santa pays a visit to Reston
Throughout the country, tiny bells can be heard jingling all the way, as numerous runners participate in the Annual Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis. These nation-wide events are held between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Since 1982, the Washington, DC area has averaged more than 4,500 runners and walkers. Now in its 6th year, Reston, VA hosted more than 900 men, women, and children this past Sunday morning. They undertook the 8K course in chilly morning temperatures. They began at South Lakes High School, and followed the course as it wound over the rolling hills of the surrounding communities.

As the numbers of people grew during registration, Santa Clause sanctioned the cause by making an appearance. The jolly man with a bright red nose and buckles on his coat plowed the way for the runners during the entirety of the race. As the hoards of merry runners took off from the start, the holiday spirit was abundant.

All bundled up for a December run
Throughout the race David McCombs of Jacksonville, NC and Chuck Moeser of Sterling, VA spurred each other on. U.S. Marine, McCombs (27:12) slid in just before Moeser (27:17) to take men's overall. Moser placed second with John McGarva (27:24) of Reston, VA not far behind.

Though not a marine Liz Speegle trains with the same coach as McCombs. She took home the best overall female finisher award with a time of 31:06. Angela Landau of Pitman, NJ took second (31:46) and Kristin Didomenico from Reston, VA rounded things out with third (32:07).

Meanwhile, back at the school, others took to the track for the 3K fun runs. As runners filed through the shoots and into the gym, volunteers from a local business were set up with massage tables to warm-up tight extremities. Shortly after 10:30 awards were handed out to the overall male and female winners as well as the first three placers in each age bracket. Awards included medals and plaques, CDs, mugs and calendars, all decorated with the Arthritis Foundation logo. Representative of the Foundation was Tonya Moseke, who congratulated each of the winners.

Everyone was in great spirits for celebrating the season
Arthritis plagues the country as a primary health problem. This debilitating disease affects one out of every six people in the Untied States. It is not confined to age, therefore impacting both the young and old. In an attempt to make a difference, The Arthritis Foundation sponsors research that is uncovering the causes, prevention and treatments for the more than 100 arthritis-related diseases.

In true holiday spirit, a special thanks goes out to all that braved the frigid morning to help this truly worthy cause. Whether you ran, walked, cheered or massaged the many volunteers and participants who made a contribution to this day gave a gift larger than can fit under any Christmas tree.