dave buston/for metro calgary


Runners and walkers dash through the snow with Santa Claus as they start the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis at the University of Calgary campus yesterday morning. About 600 showed up in the snow to raise money and awareness for those affected by arthritis in Canada.

The festive spirit hit City streets yesterday morning as Old St. Nick joined about 600 jingling runners in snow-covered Calgary for the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis.

While most fundraising runs take place in balmier conditions, the Arthritis Society puts a winter twist on the tradition by hosting its annual event in November, attaching bells to the runner’s shoes and inviting Santa to join the festivities.

Special events manager for the Arthritis Society, Christy Crowle, told Metro they raised more than $200,000 at last year’s event across Alberta and organizers hope to have surpassed that total with yesterday’s philanthropic effort.

"It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year and it’s very important because arthritis affects everybody no matter what their age. Arthritis doesn’t discriminate, everyone is affected by it and anyone can get it at anytime," Crowle told Metro.

Jane Asinjohn has suffered from acute arthritis for 11 years and said the Jingle Bell Run fundraiser is important to continue research for the disease that can at times be debilitating.

"My life has never really been the same since I started feeling arthritis pain. I haven’t been able to remain as active as I used to, especially in sports. Sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed, let alone run or play sports, but it’s nice to see so many people out in support," she said.

walk or run

  • The Jingle Bell Run gave participants the choice between walking for 1 km, or running a 5-km or 10-km route around the University of Calgary campus.