Still Time to Join 'Santa Run for Kids' this Sunday in Crystal Lake

Pre-register today, Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Running Depot in downtown Crystal Lake. Already, 500 people preregistered for Sunday's race.


Do you like to run...or walk? Would you look good in a red Santa suit, or cute reindeer antlers?

More importantly, would you like to help children in the McHenry County community?

If "yes," then come out to the first-ever "Santa Run/ Reindeer Dash for Kids," hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Crystal Lake this Sunday in downtown Crystal Lake.

Already 500 people have pre-registered on-line for the 5K and one-mile dash (or walk), which starts at 9 a.m. at the Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake. Online registration has now closed.

Racers can still sign up from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Running Depot, 30 N. Williams St, Crystal Lake.

Race-day registrations will be taken from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. at the Raue Center.

For the $35 registration fee, participants will receive a Santa coat, pants, hat, belt and beards, said race organizer Mike Splitt. Participants in the one-mile Reindeer Dash-Saunter get antlers with the $15 signup fee.

For the past 15 years, Splitt has served on the committee overseeing the Bob Blazier Run for the Arts held every May. A runner himself, Splitt is utilizing his expertise to coordinate the first-time running Santas event, which promises to be a jolly-old workout.

"We're using the same race route as the Bob Blazier run," Splitt said. "We're keeping it simple, using what works."

A couple years ago, Splitt caught footage of similar Santa runs held in Chicago, London and Las Vegas. He immediately liked the concept. Last year, while he and Kiwanis Club members were kicking around fundraising ideas, he pitched the Santa run and everyone liked it.

The community has jumped on board with the charity run, as well. Several area businesses and hospitals donated goodie bags for the participants, Splitt said. And sponsors have lent their support as well.

The Santa Run will benefit organizations assisting children throughout McHenry County including Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Girls on the Run NWIL, CASA, The Light Center/ Main Stay and Turning Point.

Pre-registration fee for the 5K Santa Run is $35; admission for the 1-mile Reindeer Dash is $15. Fees rise to $40/ $20 on race day.

More information about the Santa Run, Walk for Kids is available online at: www.kiwanissantarunforkids.org.


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