Santas to race for McHenry County children

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 5:02 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 12:05 a.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – There will be no sleighs for the Santas descending upon Crystal Lake Sunday.

More than 800 "Santas" will have to run or walk through Crystal Lake as part of the second annual Kiwanis Santa Run for Kids 5K event. The event raises money for the local chapters of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Turning Point, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Girls on the Run and Main Stay.

Kiwanis member and event organizer Mike Splitt said the event has boomed in popularity faster than Kiwanis or the agencies that benefit expected. In 2012, 751 people participated and generated $26,000 that was divided among the agencies.

This year, online registration had to be cut off after 825 people signed up. In-person registration will still be available Saturday at The Running Depot on 30 N. Williams St. in Crystal Lake from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday at the event starting point at the Raue Center for the Arts from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Registration costs $40 for the 5K, which includes a full Santa suit for runners, and $20 for the 1 mile course, which includes reindeer antlers for participants.

"We're going to have more than 1,000 people at this event by the time it starts," Splitt said. "We had to scramble and get more Santa suits. The elves have been making them all week. This thing has really exploded and we're elated it's going as well as it is."

The 5K and 1-mile races are expected to start at 9 a.m. at the Raue Center for the Arts on 26 N. Williams St. Those interested should visit www.santarunforkids.wordpress.com for more information.

What: Kiwanis Santa Run for Kids 

When: Sunday, 9 a.m.

Where: Raue Center for the Arts, 26 N. Williams St.Cost: $40 for 5K, which includes full Santa suit; $20 for 1-mile participants, which includes reindeer antlers

Why: To benefit local chapters of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Turning Point, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Girls on the Run and Main Stay. People can register at The Running Depot Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or at the event Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

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