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Downtown in December presents annual Santa Run


Paige Lawler December 3rd, 2009

While the holidays are primarily known for bringing us all a little extra bulk, Downtown OKC Inc. offers locals a way to stay trim after eating their way through the season. The sixth annual...

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While the holidays are primarily known for bringing us all a little extra bulk, Downtown OKC Inc. offers locals a way to stay trim after eating their way through the season.

The sixth annual Santa Run is a 5K and one-mile fun run that steps off at 9 p.m. Saturday at Leadership Square, 211 N. Robinson. The run was founded after the death of Judy Weikert, a member of the Oklahoma City Running Club. In her honor, all funding from the run benefits the Police Athletic League, a nonprofit organization devoted to preventing juvenile crime in the community.

Event coordinator Don Garrett said the league has made a significant dent in juvenile crime, and continues to help inner-city children across the metro.

"You know, a lot of people complain about the world now, and they're actually doing something about it," he said.

BUSLOAD
Garrett said the organization brings a busload of inner-city kids to participate in the race each year. Three or four schools are involved, and about 500 children participate in the fun run. He said organizers expect between 800 and 1,200 runners to sign up.

The fun run consists of a one-mile loop, which participants can either run or walk. The 5K is a timed race on a certified track, but contestants have the choice of walking or running in this one, too. Santa will greet kids at the finish line of the children's run, a 50-yard dash that's festive and fast.

"You don't have to be a real serious runner to do this," Garrett said.

The 5K begins at 9 a.m., with the 50-yard dash immediately following. The fun run is at 10 a.m. Pre-registration is $25, and participants can sign up the day of the race for $30. The 5K starts on N. Robinson Avenue and finishes on Robert S. Kerr Avenue. "Paige Lawler

 
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