There’s just something fun and festive about breaking out an ugly holiday sweater and going for a run with a group of equally ugly sweaters. So, I gathered a few of my running friends to join me for the 7th Annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Run. Some of them were running it for the first time and some were returning. This annual event that encourages us to get ugly is a free, low-key, untimed 5K. This charitable event asks for donations for the Ladybug CDH Foundation. Donations go to help babies born with CDH (congenital diaphragmatic hernia) and their families.
The 5K started (and finished) at Road Runner Sports in Tualatin. It was especially nice this year to have a warm place to wait before the race, as it was a frosty morning. Before the race started, runners and walkers meandered through Road Runner Sports shopping the great sales, chatting with vendors, getting pictures with Santa, or enjoying the free coffee and snacks. In the meantime, the participants kept pouring in. This was a record year for this race with over 400 people registered!
As start time neared, we headed outside and heard a few words from Liz, the race director and mother of a child born with CDH – who is now a healthy, happy young girl. There was a pre-race warm-up and then we were off and running in a sea of red and green. What a sight we must have been for the morning Christmas shoppers heading in to the Nyberg Woods Shopping Center. We headed out of the shopping center, down the sidewalk, and then turned off on to a trail. The trail was a mix of pavement, wooden bridges, bark, and gravel – but it was mostly paved. The wooden bridges were a little frosty, but we all managed to stay upright and running. The course was an out and back, which was perfect for this run. It was so much fun to see the creative holiday sweaters and other festive outfits as you passed by the other runners and walkers. If anyone was lacking in Christmas spirit, I’m pretty sure this event brought it out. After the 5K, participants gathered both inside and outside of Road Runner Sports chatting, shopping, and admiring the creative running wear of their fellow runners.
Afterwards there was an Ugly Sweater Contest with winners in the kids, male, female, and group/family categories. This was followed by a raffle with some great prizes. I was the lucky winner of a massage gift certificate! Merry Christmas to me!
In addition to all the festive fun, this event raised over $3000 for the Ladybug CDH Foundation, as well as the multitude of items that were donated. What a great showing of the giving spirit of Christmastime!
As a third year participant in this event, I have to say that for a low-key fun run, this event is well-organized and lots of fun. Even with record numbers this year, everything flowed smoothly and Liz and her crew were calm and cool throughout! I appreciate their commitment to the Ladybug CDH Foundation and dedication to putting on quality events to help others going through the hardships this birth defect causes. If you missed out this year, get this one on your list for 2019. It’s sure to keep you on Santa’s “nice” list!