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Santa Claus Is the Official Starter at Ho Ho Ho 5K Run on December 17

Local Runners, Reindeers and Elves Invited to 24th Annual Holiday 5 Kilometer Run

For nearly a quarter of a century, Long Island local runners, walkers and their families have known that there’s no better way to celebrate the Holiday season than by being part of the fun at the Ho Ho Ho Holiday 5 Kilometer Run, and on Saturday morning, Dec. 17, athletes from Oyster Bay, East Norwich, Locust Valley, Bayville, Mill Neck and all over Long Island are invited to celebrate the 24th annual edition of this event at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Bethpage.

Thanks to the generosity of the leading law firm of Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt LLP (specializing in Intellectual Property Law) and Local 338, RWDSU/UFCW, this year’s edition of the Run will offer all the great amenities of past years... and MORE!!

Race Director Ric Diveglio of the host Greater Long Island Running Club will be joining lots of volunteers to put together another spectacular morning of family fitness and fun for everyone. Santa Claus will once again be the Official Starter, and hordes of reindeer, elves and other denizens of the Holiday season will be at the Middle School to make sure that a good time is had by all.

There will be once again special prizes for the best Holiday costume and for the first “centipede” to cross the finish line. Runners and walkers are most definitely encouraged to run the 5 kilometers in costumes appropriate to the season. There will, of course, be a fun run for the youngsters on the grounds of the Middle School before the 5K main event. The Fun Run will be held at 8:45 on the morning of the 17th, the Costume Parade at 9 a.m., and the 5 Kilometer Run will start at exactly 9:30 a.m.

There will also once again be a “GIANT” post-race raffle that will be highlighted by the grand prize of a 26-inch flat screen high definition television set and the second prize of a top of the line NIKON digital camera. Everyone who is entered in the Run will be eligible to win!

Proceeds of this year’s Run will once again be donated to The Opening Word, an education program for poor uneducated women to give them the tools they need to become productive members of society.

A total of 1059 athletes crossed the finish line at last year’s Run, including a strong local contingent that included 13-year-old Maggie Reid of Locust Valley, who took top honors in the female 14-and-under age group, and Julian Manzo of Bayville, who earned the top award in the 15-19 age group. The Run Committee is hopeful that Maggie and Julian will be back again this Dec. 17, and looks for lots of other local runners – old and new – to join in as well.

Please note that the Ho Ho Ho Run will carry forward the Running Club’s 50 percent discount policy for youngsters aged 16 and under, so that GLIRC members 16 and under can pre- register for only $8 and non-members 16 and under can pre-register for only $9!

Call Mike or Linda at the GLIRC office at 349-7646 for entry forms or more information, or you can register online at www.glirc.org. Volunteers are very much needed to be part of the fun! Contact Mindy at 520-9481 or at mindyruns@ aol.com. If you use email, please put “Ho Ho Ho Run” as the subject.

FYI: Please bring a new unwrapped toy to registration to benefit local children in need. Toys will be donated to the John Theissen’s Children’s Foundation.