The beginning of the Crystal Lake Kiwanis Club 2017 Santa Run on Williams Street.
The first Sunday of every December Crystal Lake Kiwanis sponsors a 5k race.
“Elf” Chris Christensen prepared the Santas for their runs.
It’s called a Santa Run
While that the 2016 race ended with snow, the weather on the first Sunday of this December was excellent.
As the contestants ran toward Crystal Lake Avenue, it was “get out of the way” time.
Last year over 975 took part.
This year like last year every participant received a ribbon as they finished the course.
The participant goal this year was 1,000.
This runner was number 1,000.
This year over 1,000 people participated.
This man was one of the people who put the 2017 Crystal Lake Kiwanis Club Santa Run over the 1,000 mark.
And that does not count babies.
This baby in Santa hat was already dressed for the Kiwanis Santa Run.
Dogs at the starting line of the Crystal Lake Kiwanis Club’as 2017 Santa Run.
It does appear the count includes kids on scooters, however.
These two young folks rode scooters on their Santa Run.
There is a shorter distance, too, for those not as athletically inclined.
Finishing the Santa Run.
This is the sixth year the club has run the race, which is its major fundraiser.
A “proud daughter” praises her Dad after he finishes the Crystal Lake Kiwanis Santa Run with a sign.
Kiwanis, which is “laser focused” on helping kids, as President Matt Wruck.
Mike Splitt and Matt Wruck chat before start of 2017 Crystal Lake Kiwanis Santa Run.
In the past couple of years, the event, spearheaded by member and former Kiwanis President Mike Splitt, has netted about $35,000.
The amount raised is split six ways:
- Big Brothers, Big Sisters of McHenry County
- CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates
- Girls on the Run
- Mainstay Therapeutic Farm
- Turning Point
- Crystal Lake Kiwanis (Kiwanis gives its share to other groups that benefit local children throughout the year)
Dunkin’ Donuts owner Sumish Parikh chats with Santa before the demand for his donuts and bagels gets heavy. Big Brothers, Big Sisters of McHenry County staffed the donut booth.
This year there was an early sign-up discount.
This man signed up early for the Crystal Lake Kiwanis Santa Run and got a discount. One of the tasks of volunteers was to put the safety pins on the identification labels.
There were plenty of folks who signed up on Sunday morning, however.
People signing up for the run on Sunday went to the right at the Raue Center in Downtown Crystal Lake.
Those who had signed up early walked in the front door of the old movie theater and turned left.
People who had signed up for the Santa Run before the event, went to the room on the left for their bag of goodies and Santa suit and beard or Santa Run tee shirt.
The bathrooms at the Raue Center are on the second floor.
Preparing for the race includes going to the bathroom for some.
One crew was in charge of getting blog-up Santa standing.
There was a bit of wind, so the volunteers hoisting Santa to an upright position had their hands full.
Inside as the start of the race approaches the Crystal Lake Community Choir signs Christmas Carols.
The Crystal Lake Community Choir were singing Charles Wesley’s and Felix Mendelssohn’s “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” when I took this photo. They also sang the “Star Spangled Banner” right before the race started.
Santa Run is a community event that takes over Williams Street.
After the 5k and 1k participants had pretty much finished, there were three heats of fifty yard dashes.
After the race, many stuck around.
Photos with balloon Santa attracted many.
The route of the run and walk can be seen below:
The Crystal Lake Kiwanis Santa Run route.