The Jingle Bell Half Marathon & 5K kicks off with early packet pickup at 3:00 PM on Saturday, December 10th at the Sports and Fitness Center at Northern Essex Community College. On race day, Sunday, December 11th, packet pickup begins at 7:00 AM and both races start at 9:00 AM!
The Jingle Bell Half Marathon offers runners a figure 8 loop course that runs along the Merrimack River in Haverhill, Massachusetts. The race starts and finishes at the Northern Essex Community College campus, located off Route 495.
The first loop is an easy 5K that brings you right back to the start area on campus. You’ll then make your way to the rural roads in Haverhill. The roads are not closed to the public, but we will have course marshals and police along the course.
We’ll have 4 water stops along the way at miles 2.5, 5, 7, and 10.5 Gatorade will be available at the 5 and 10.5 mile stops and gel packets will be available at the mile 7 water stop. We also know that sometimes nature calls when it’s least convenient, so we’ll have portable toilets on the course at miles 5 and 10.5 in addition to the ones at mile 3 and 7.
Click here to view an interactive course map.
Our 5K run is one of our favorites for spreading holiday cheer. Seeing runners dressed up in their favorite costumes and families running together, it warms our hearts. Taking the first loop of our half marathon course, the 5K course is great for runners and walkers of all ages and fitness levels. The course is very easy, and you’ll be jubilant by the time you reach the post-race party at Northern Essex Community College.
Once you cross the finish line, the fun continues at the Sports and Fitness Center at NECC. We’ll have the heat on for you and offer our delectable hot chocolate, soup, and other tasty treats. And for our runners 21 and over, we’ll also have two craft beers waiting for you to celebrate your race properly.
Directions & Parking
There is plentiful free parking at Northern Essex Community College, so that’s one less hassle on race morning.
Both races starts at 9 a.m. at Sports and Fitness Center at Northern Essex Community College. If taking I-495, take exit 111 and the campus will be almost immediately as you get off the highway.
Please arrive by 7:30 a.m. to ensure you have time to park, check-in, and stretch before the race begins.
Early packet pick-up will be held in the lobby of the Sports and Fitness Center at NECC on Saturday, December 9th, 2023 from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM. Participants are encouraged to pick up their bib at early packet pick-up to make for a less stressful race morning. Can’t make it to early packet pick-up? No worries! Day of packet pick-up on Sunday, December 10th, 2023 will also be offered at the Sports and Fitness Center at NECC from 7:00 AM – 8:45 AM.
Post Race Sweets
We will have hot chocolate, coffee, cookies/doughnuts, holiday treats and festive music for participants to enjoy post-race.
We are very excited to announce we will be partnering with Debbie’s Treasure Chest for this year’s Jingle Bell Half Marathon & 5K in which we will be hosting a winter clothing drive at the event! Debbie’s Treasure Chest was founded in 2007 and provides aid and support for disadvantaged and at-risk families in the Merrimack Valley and surrounding areas. This holiday season, Debbie’s Treasure Chest is looking for winter clothing donations to help those in need. We are hoping with nearly 1,000 participants and spectators at this event, we can collect enough clothing to keep many community members warm!
We are looking for winter coats, sweatshirts, jackets, sweatpants, etc. to be donated at the event. Any and all sizes are welcomed and encouraged! As a general rule of thumb, new or gently used clothing will be accepted. While we appreciate the generosity, we cannot accept shoes at this drive.