On the frosty morning of December 5, 2015, twenty energetic RRT volunteers arrived at the Courts Plus Fitness Center in Fargo ND. They were there to assist the Jingle Bell Walk/Run Event raise money to find a cure for Arthritis.  The 5K route wove its way through residential neighbourhoods where a fresh covering of snow and frost made the landscape look like a winter wonderland. It was a brisk morning at 26 degrees Fahrenheit and the holiday spirit was in the air.

The runners making their way to the start line

RRT volunteers set up a tent in the gymnasium to provide refreshments before the race began.  There was water and granola bars for participants to take along with them on their walk and hot cocoa and cappuccinos available to warm them up after their run.  RRT also offered an assortment of high energy snacks for before and after the race.

RRT provided water bottles, granola bars and high energy snacks before the race

Over 50 million Americans have arthritis, making it the number one cause of disability in the country. That means 1 in every 5 adults, 300,000 children and countless families are affected.  These numbers will only continue to grow unless we take a stand, so it was great to see so many out to support such a great cause. Over 300 runners showed up, dressed in their holiday costumes and despite the cold, they were eager to set off on their 5K run/walk. The runners were all lined up and ready to go at 9:00 sharp!

Santa and an Elf showing their support

RRT worked with EVAC (a local traffic control group) to safely direct traffic at crosswalks and intersections.  Safety was a main concern at the event and thanks to the cooperation of everyone, all went very smoothly.

Running to keep warm

The volunteers from RRT also provided a rest stop part way through the run for the participants. Again, they provided water bottles, energy bars, hot cocoa, and cappuccinos.  The weary runners were very appreciative for the short break.

RRT – prepared to serve in any weather The gymnasium where dinner was served

After all the runners returned to the finish line, there was a meal provided as well as hot beverages for everyone. Two Arthritis sufferers told their stories and how they cope with arthritis on a day to day basis. They also shared how their lives have been affected by the Arthritis Foundation. It was very inspiring to see what these persons live with, but what they can still accomplish.

Warming up with hot chocolate

This was a great event with an awesome turnout. Thanks to all!!

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