Do you have your stockings and garlands up, but still aren’t feeling the holiday spirit? Let us give you a great way to ring in the season of giving that will also get your heart rate up on a chilly December morning: You may have thought that the 5K circuit was all played out for the year, but there’s one more race, one that combines athleticism and competition with the light and joy of Santa season. Can you imagine being one of hundred of Santa Clauses running through the streets of South Portland, stopping by cookie and candy stations while your favorite overplayed holiday music plays all the while?
Go to http://www.santahustle.com/new-england/ and register for the 2017 Santa Hustle 5K and Half-Marathon, kicking off at the Maine Mall (364 Maine Mall Rd, SoPo) on Sunday, December 3 at 7 a.m. (earlier if you have kids that want to run in the new-this-year Santa Sprint or Rudolph Run). You will receive Santa swag to help you look the part, including a hat and beard, a Santa shirt, and candy-cane socks. If and when you finish, you’ll also get a finisher’s medal, which we hear makes a great tree decoration when you get home.
This year’s Santa Hustle, which is a nationwide series of events that has been featured on Rachael Ray in the past, benefits the Easter Seals. They, of course, provide services “to ensure that all people with disabilities or special needs and their families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities.” So after that initial adrenaline burst when the starter’s pistol goes off, once you find your pace and settle into that groove between speed and stamina, you can spend the run thinking about how much good your registration fee is going to do others, right in time for the holidays. By the way, those fees are $45 for the 5K walk or run and $65 for the half-marathon, slightly more if you register on race day. And imagine if you win the whole thing; you’ll be able to bug your family and co-workers with the question, “Who’s Super Santa,” at least until New Year’s.
Before you head over, throw a new, unwrapped toy in the car for Toys for Tots, whose reps will be there to make the event a double charity win. Give till it hurts, and don’t talk about the pain. That’s just stinginess leaving the body.