A special invitation has been issued to runners and walkers from the Massapequas and Farmingdale to join in on a morning of festive family fun and fitness at the 12th annual Ho Ho Ho Holiday 5 Kilometer Run, to be held on the roads of Bethpage on Sunday morning, Dec. 19.
Pictured here, Lisa Kovesdy of the running club presents a special HoHo hat to Jack O'Connor, executive managing director of run co-sponsor Grubb & Ellis New York, Inc.
The run will be conducted under the auspices of the Greater Long Island Running Club, with Mobile Eight Apparel Corporation and its On the Brink sportswear line providing the primary financial support, along with the Huntington-based Grubb & Ellis Realty ("Property Solutions Worldwide"). Registration will take place at Bethpage High School on Cherry Avenue in Bethpage from 7:30 to 9:15 a.m. on the morning of the 19th, and the starting gun for the 5K run will go off promptly at 9:30 a.m. There will also be a 1/4 mile fun run for youngsters 12 and under starting at 8:45 a.m. with awards presented to all competitors.
The 5 kilometer course will take the runners on a scenic winter tour through the Bethpage community and then back again to the finish line at the high school for bountiful holiday refreshments. In addition to the water station at the halfway point, there will be a nonalcoholic eggnog station in keeping with the holiday spirit. All runners and walkers are encouraged to come in costume, and there will be a gala costume parade with prizes for the best costumes, starting at 9 a.m. A free babysitting service will be provided for those who are participating in the 5 kilometer run.
Awards will be given to the top male and female finisher overall in the 5K run, plus the top three male and female finishers in each of fourteen 5 year age groups (through age 75 and over), the top three male and female finishers in each of two Clydesdale weight categories, and the first three male and female wheelchair competitors. Everyone who enters the 5 kilometer run will receive a special commemorative Ho Ho Ho Run shirt. Walkers are most definitely invited to join in the fun.
The official race starter will be none other than Santa Claus, who will be taking time out from preparations for his own Holiday Run to join the Bethpage festivities. Jack Frost, Rudolph, several of Santa's elves, and assorted other special guests are expected to be on hand for the fun.
The entire net proceeds of the event will be split between the Bretton Bowl fund for the needy families of Bethpage, and ASPIRE, the special program for the rehabilitation of young people who have suffered the loss of a leg to bone cancer and traumatic amputations.
The 5K entry fee is $17 for those who register in advance and $20 who register on the day of the run. The 1/4 mile fun run for the kids is free.
Runners from Farmingdale and the Massapequas have always played a major role in the Ho Ho Ho Run. Award winners in 1998 included Donna McMahon, Geza Feld and Mary Anne Goldman of Farmingdale, Kieran Kelly and Laura Gluf of Massapequa, and Raymond Bernardini of Massapequa Park.
"The Ho Ho Ho Holiday Run is much more than just another road race," observed Race Director Ed Kovesdy. "We're putting on a special holiday event that is a celebration of the season for runners, walkers, and their families. It will once again be an enjoyable morning to start the holiday season right, with lots of wholesome fun for everyone, an opportunity for the kids to be part of the fun, and with the proceeds going to two most important causes. We very much hope to see as many of our Massapequa and Farmingdale friends as possible join us for a great event."
For entry forms or more information, one may call the running club at 349-7646.