For the last two years, Chesterfield County has held the July Jingle Run at Pocahontas State Park. With festive holiday-themed decorations, fun activities for... Face published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

For the last two years, Chesterfield County has held the July Jingle Run at Pocahontas State Park. With festive holiday-themed decorations, fun activities for families and a costume contest, participants are bound to find something that interests them at the annual event.

Chesterfield native Melissa Face and her family have enjoyed competing in the event.

A teacher at Appomattox Regional Governors School for the Arts and Technology and mother of two, Face wrote a story about the event that was recently published in the newest edition of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series. The story is included in: “Running for Good: 101 Stories of Runners and Walkers to Get You Going.”

“When I first saw the call-out for running stories (in Chicken Soup), I knew I had to write about the July Jingle Run,” Face said. “We have participated in some pretty big races in Hampton and Newport News, but even those were not as special to us as the July Jingle Run.”

Her story is about her family’s first time participating in the run and the wonderful time they had during the race and at the post-race Christmas festival.

This isn’t the first time she’s been published.

“I have written for several local and national magazines, and my debut essay collection on motherhood will be published in the fall of 2019,” she said. “Even though this is my 21st publication for ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ series, I still get just as excited as I did the first one. It’s so much fun, and I enjoy every part of the process.”

“This race benefits one of the best causes around: the Chester-Colonial Heights Christmas Mother,” Face said. “They make sure children and elderly in our community don’t go without food and gifts at the holidays.”

To prepare for each race, Face and her family stay active.

“I try to do a serious run twice a week,” she said. “I love running for weight management purposes and because it’s a great sport for setting new goals. Plus it’s something that [my family] enjoys doing together. We sometimes take mini-trips around the races that we want to run.”

Copies of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books can be found at Barnes & Noble Bookstores.

Editor’s note: This year’s July Jingle Fun Run will take place July 20 at Pocahontas State Park. The Kids Run will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K will begin at 9 a.m. There will be prizes for best individual and team holiday costumes, snacks, music and more. Registration, which can be done online at JulyJingleRun.com, is $12 for children and $35 for adults. Donations of new board books and unwrapped board games for the December Christmas Mother Program are appreciated.

The Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Christmas Mother Program is a non-profit organization that strives to ensure that no family is without food, no child is without toys, books or clothing, and no elder is forgotten during the holidays. The organization serves over 4,500 people in low-income homes.