Before the 2016 Santa Run the day was gloomy, but there was not much participation.
Last night the predictions were that there would be an inch of snow on the ground for the 9 AM Crystal Lake Kiwanis Santa Run.
When the race was complete, the ground was wet, but the snow had not covered the streets.
As it turned out the big flakes didn’t start falling until after the race and most of the outdoor cleanup was completed.
This is how the beginning of the race course looked at noon–about two hours after the end of the Santa Run.
But, then the snowflakes came.
The wind was a bit to strong for the blow-up Santa to stand on the west side of the street.
The precipitation was too late to bother the runners, however.
Those who paid early went in the southern room of the Raue Center.
People gathered to sign up.
Those paying the day of the race went to the north room of the Raue Center. That’s also were tee shirts were being sold.
Before the starting gun was fired, the Crystal Lake Choir entertained those at the Raue Center.
Besides singing Christmas carols inside, the Choir sang the Star Spangled Banner before the race began.
And people gathered inside to avoid the 30-some degree weather.
The moist, cold air was chilling enough to send most inside to warm up before the race.
And organizers relocated Santa to a place where he couldn’t blow away.
Santa was wedged next to the STAR 105 broadcasting trailer. Here a radio employee unsuccessfully attempts to keep blog-up Santa’s right hand from covering her company’s logo. As soon as the brace was removed, Santa’s arm went back down.
People lined up near the starting line as race time approached.
Ready to run.
And, then, the gun sounded.
My first shot was out of focus, but here’s one of the start of the race.
The number of runners and walkers is not known at this time, but numbers on people ran over 1,000.
People behind the ones in the photo above.
People over 70 were in the race, as were those under ten.
Northern Illinois Girls on the Run is one of the beneficiaries of the Santa Run proceeds.
Next came the walkers.
Those walking lined up for that race’s kick-off. (Note blow-up Santa’s hand over the “R” of STAR 105’s logo.
The race does not take all that long for the fastest runners to complete.
Here’s one of the earliest finishers. Note that he has passed the police vehicle which led the runners. The man in the foreground handed out ribbons to everyone.
The runners kept crossing the finishing line, but my volunteer duties took me elsewhere.
Another man who finished among the first.
Families ran together.
This son beat his Dad in the race.
By the end of the race, snow flakes had begun to fall.
Ths man got his ribbon as snow began to descend from the sky.
So, what was I doing?
A number of people want their race times.
The snow was falling as the race results were being printed out.
I got to punch in their numbers so a machine could print out that data.
After the race was over, an awards ceremony was held in the warmth of the Raue Center’s auditorium.
Top finishers in each age category and race were honored after the Kiwanis Santa Run.
Afterwards, Santa was found to be prostrate again.
Kiwanis Santa Run spark plug Mike Splitt administered first aid to the downed Santa before packing him away for another year.
This time covered in a bit of snow.
Santa Run occurs the first Sunday of every December.
This is its fifth year.