Santa's Elves and Reindeer Run 5K to Raise 80K for Special Olympics
Despite the chilly temperatures, more than a thousand people participated in the Special Olympics of Massachusetts 6th Annual Jolly Jaunt 5K in Boston on Saturday.
The event helped raise more than $80,000 for the organization.
"My daughter's friend works at a special education school and she sent a link out encouraging people to participate," said Ann Reilly of New Hampshire, who ran the race with her daughter, Nicole.
"It was well worth it. It's always great to spend time with family around the holidays and running is goos exercise and when you're doing it to raise money for a good cause it makes it more fun. The spirits were so positive," she said.
For the first time in six years, TRACS Inc., a sports marketing and event planning firm from Boston, has coordinated the event. The race is also sponsored by the New Balance Foundation.
"We were really pleased with how it turned out," said Jeff Travers of TRACS, Inc. "We really try to make this a family atmosphere. My favorite part is seeing everyone come out in their holiday costumes and seeing family getting together. Everyone is here to support the Special Olympics and this event is truly great for everyone involved."
From large groups to individual runners, to college students and children, each participant had the same goal of raising money to help support Special Olympics of Massachusetts, while also spreading holiday cheer.
One of the signature facets to this event is the shedding of traditional running clothes and trading them in for antlers, santa hats and elf shoes.
"I love the camaraderie and the fact that we're able to raise money for equipment and uniforms and all that," said Anne Osberger of the May Center, a school for children with brain injuries in Brockton. "It's just great to be out here even though it's chilly with all the Christmas stuff on with everybody out here cheering for us."
The course began at Boston Common on Charles St. and looped through familiar Boston streets such as Commonwealth Ave. and Massachusetts Ave. before returning to the Common. Upon crossing the finish line, a warm tent filled with food and entertainment greeted runners.
Awards for the most creative costumes and most money raised were awarded to the appropriate teams, though each participant was awarded with a t-shirt and silver running blanket popular in the Boston Marathon.
The Boston Jolly Jaunt was the kick-off race for the Special Olympics winter season. Springfield, Taunton, Hyannis and Danvers will all host their own races in the coming weekends. Click here if you're interested in participating.