Competitors in the third annual Nog Jog had a chance to test their speed and gastric strength this past Saturday, Dec. 1, as they raced around Pomona College’s Strehle track to raise money for charity.
The jog, put on by the Pomona-Pitzer cross country team, resembles any other mile-long track race, if not for one special holiday twist: In between laps, each participant must consume an entire cup of Trader Joe’s eggnog.
“It’s the perfect combination of festive and disgusting,” said Andy Reischling PO ’19, Nog Jog organizer and emcee. “We hope [that] will not only make the event a staple of the colleges’ holiday events, but also for an entertaining spectacle. Normal races are incredibly boring, but a race where the runners have to drink eggnog each lap? That’s something people will pay to see!”
Participants must pay a $10 entrance fee, but Reischling said the race also receives many contributions from non-racers. This year the event raised around $500 for the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center, a non-profit committed to connecting day laborers with responsible employers.
Day laborers are people that work on a temporary basis and are often immigrants, prevented from finding steady work due to current employment regulations.
The PEOC writes on their website that their mission is “to provide an opportunity for day laborers to find safe work at a fair wage, to organize and advocate for themselves, to obtain new trades and skills that improve their employability and quality of life, and to improve the overall conditions for all immigrant workers.”
Though the jog is open to everyone, the race itself is not for the faint of heart (or stomach).
Bukuru Anaclet PO ’21, cross country runner and Nog Jog participant, said the race can get a little competitive, considering the winning time for the men’s race was 5:06. On the whole, however, Anaclet said, “Most of us are just here to have fun and raise money for an organization that we really care about.”
Reischling said he hopes the event will continue to grow and incorporate a more inclusive community.
“As of now, it’s mostly athletes with a few community participants,” Reischling said. “However, the crowd of people that come and watch gets bigger every year. Ideally in the next couple of years, the race itself will be more a community event with on-campus and off-campus runners.”
If you’re wondering how it feels to sprint a mile with a quart of eggnog in your stomach, the answer is: not good.
Anaclet said that he “doesn’t really like eggnog” and that he found the race difficult because he “could feel the egg nog in [his] stomach every step he took.”
Joe Hesse-Withbroe PO ’22, the men’s champion, expressed that throughout the race, he was mainly “focusing on not puking.”
On the matter of illness, Reischling said: “Yes, people get sick during and after the race. We’re very careful to provide enough trash cans.”