On your marks. Get set. Go.
With holiday-themed jingles playing on the speakers near Okanagan Lake, runners of all ages were ready to show what they’ve got at the 12th annual Santa Rec Run on Saturday.
The fundraising 1 and 5 kilometre runs, hosted by Hoodoo Adventure Company, is in support of the Youth Outdoor Recreation Society (YORS) which encourages people to stay active.
And there weren’t just a few people who got the memo about staying active — there were over 100.
“It means a lot because not only is this such a great cause, it’s like that first Christmas thing that people are really excited about in the community,” said Lyndie Hill, the founder of YORS and CEO of Hoodoo Adventure Company, at the starting line before the race began.
People ranging in age from young people to seniors were seen at the start line at 5 p.m. ready to take part in the festivities.
“In the last couple of days, the registration has really picked up,” she added.
Iron Man star Jen Annett and her family took part in the Santa Rec Run as did other young families. One dad posted that his young daughter ran the whole five kilometres.
The Hoodoo event started at the LocoLanding parking lot and had participants run one kilometre through Lakeshore and downtown Penticton.
The main event of the evening was the five km race, with the runners finishing their journeys at the same place it started.
Moments before the race started, Hill said that the 2021 Santa Rec Race has raised over $2,000, with more expected to come in later in the night.
All proceeds for the event hosted by the Hoodoo Adventure Company were given back to YORS, with numerous local businesses and schools seen getting in on the festivities throughout the day.
“We also do a draw for a class to get a free (outdoor) program,” Hill said. “As well as a corporate event and things like that, so there’s lots of giving back to the community just for the people that are participating and lots of great prizes.”
The event organizers encouraged participants to dress up in their best holiday-themed clothes.
But even if they didn’t, there was one thing that Hill wanted to make sure everyone knew.
“Everybody gets a Santa Claus hat anyway, so they’re all wearing Santa hats regardless,” she said with a laugh.
The 2021 Santa Rec Run marked the 12th time that Hill has worked on the event.
And as over 100 people were running under a bit of rain Saturday evening, she couldn’t be happier with how the evening turned out.
“Especially this year when there’s not a lot happening in Penticton for Christmas activities, it’s nice and it’s outside and open to everybody.”