Toys for Tots is raising awareness this season by teaming up with another holiday favorite – the ugly sweater. The streets of Downtown Lawrence will host the Ugly Sweater Run on Saturday, December 1 at 2:00 pm. You’ll already be downtown for the 20th Anniversary of the Old Fashioned Christmas Parade at 11 am so you might as well stick around for this!
The 5k event welcomes both runners and walkers. In fact, it’s meant to be in good fun so don’t expect any records to be set that day - unless its fastest hot chocolate chug during a 5k. Ouch.
The course will offer holiday music, snow machines, sledding and themed aide stations flowing with the aforementioned hot chocolate. It is suggested you wear an ugly holiday sweater and bring a new toy for donation to Toys for Tots.
Post “race” festivities include beverages (even the adult kind), awards such as best mustache, beard – and obviously sweater. All festivities, pre and post, will be located in Watson Park at 7th & Tennessee Street.
You can register online at http://www.active.com/5k-race/lawrence-ks/the-ugly-sweater-run---lawrence-2012?int=29-12. Solo and team sign-ups are welcome. Every participant gets a custom pint glass, Santa hat/reindeer hat, two free Winter Lagers courtesy of sponsor Sam Adams (21 and over, with ID) and a mustache. I guess it goes with the ugly sweater?!
If you’re interested in volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll still get drinks and a snazzy mustache.
For more information on the Toys for Tots program, see www.toysfortots.org/.
Cloudy skies with intermittent sun and a chilly wind greeted runners Sunday morning for the Kansas Half Marathon & 5k in downtown Lawrence. Approximately 2,000 runners braved the cooler temperatures and KU campus hills to benefit the Health Care Access Clinic.
The Clinic provides health care access to Douglas County residents not covered by insurance and with limited financial means. Over 14,000 residents have been helped in the past two decades with everything from prescription medications to specialist referrals and health education. You can learn more about this wonderful organization at healthcareaccess.org.
HyVee was the key sponsor of this year’s event, hosting the early packet pickup and providing a variety of snacks during and after the races.
The well-marked and staffed course wound through downtown, KU campus, out to Clinton Parkway and back. Hundreds of supporters, aid station staff and police helped make it a smooth, safe race for all participants despite gusting winds, intersection traffic and one nasty Irving Hill Road incline.
Paul Hefferon, in his second half marathon win in a week (he took the Rock the Parkway title in Kansas City the previous Saturday), won the overall half marathon title in 1:12:56. Male masters winner was Ken Moran in 1:17:50. The female winner was Megan Earney with a time of 1:26:15. She was second female at Rock the Parkway the previous weekend. Female masters winner was Lauren Rose Laughlin in 1:34:49.
In the 5k, Theran Ahtone took the overall title while Claire Sanner won the women’s title.
Finishers in both races received shirts and those in the half marathon also received a heavy duty finisher’s medal to commemorate the event. Those who placed in the top three of each five year age group in both races also received additional recognition. Full results can be viewed on kcrunningcompany.com.
The Lawrence community should congratulate themselves on a race well done. Every excited high five, cowbell ring, wild scream, cup of water or posterboard sign is appreciated by those pounding down the streets and every dollar raised (no exact total yet) for health care is something to be proud of.
Jim Ryun, the first high school runner to break a four minute mile, holder of five world records, and three time Olympian, will be speaking and signing autographs this evening, April 19th, from 6:00-7:30 pm at Garry Gribble’s Running Sports, 839 Massachusetts in downtown Lawrence.
It’s also the perfect time to stop and enjoy the Kansas Relays long jump event starting at 6:00 pm on 8th Street, between Massachusetts and Vermont Streets.