Tis the season for themed holiday runs. We have our Turkey Trots, Santa Shuffles, Resolution Runs, Run for the Claus's. It's the time of year when runners show that they have a sense of humour; and a lot of hardcore runners are kind of weird so it's usually a good time.
As a teen in Prince Rupert my Dad organized the Resolution Run on New Years Day as part of the Rupert Runners Club. The run encourages people to dress up and have fun as a group for the first run of a new year. My Dad, my sister and I always seemed to go either too far or not far enough on the costumes, one year we dressed in bed sheet togas with flaming tiki torches as we ran the 5k (no one else dressed up). I'll admit there have been a few Resolution Runs that I missed due to late night festivities but the ones that I made it to were always worth it, even when you're carrying a lit torch for 5k wearing bed sheets.
Last Sunday my friend Josephine and I completed Cowichan's Run for the Claus in support of the Clements Centre Society; a local organization that helps people with disabilities. The run was a 6k loop of trail and road running that was fully accessible. Over 200 Santas participated in the run and walk, which is amazing for a community the size of Cowichan.
The Santa suit was included in the price of registration! Twenty dollars got you a cheap suit and entry into an awesome community event, which is a steal considering how much other holiday-themed activities can cost. The suit was like Santa's pyjamas, and the people who didn't wear the beard looked like Karate-Santas. Or Bedtime-Karate-Santa, so it was awesome.
People run for all sorts of reasons, for health and fitness, to lose weight, to stay calm, to find focus, for competition, for community, and for fun. But I find that the people that participate in the weirdo charity fun runs are the coolest runners, they are the ones who really love it and who want to be part of a community. The community is what makes the Run for the Claus special. Everyone was there, the hardcore runners, parents with kids, Mom with strollers, grandparents, charity supporters, politicians, and people who just want to run around as Santa. Because nothing beats the feeling of your white fake beard flapping in the wind as you cross the finish line.