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Santas run wild through Sandusky

Andy Ouriel • Dec 16, 2013 at 2:10 PM

The North Coast resembled the North Pole Sunday — and not just because of frigid weather and reindeer cameos.

About 2,500 people decked out in Kris Kringle attire participated in the second annual Santa Hustle Half Marathon and 5K at Cedar Point.

Read a first-person experience from Sunday's races

Participants — people could partake either in a 3-mile trek or a 13-mile endeavor — sprinted, jogged and walked through an outdoor winter wonderland.

Christmas decorations, along with speakers blasting holiday tunes, lined the course, stretching from Cleveland Road near Castaway Bay to the Cedar Point Causeway.

Most played along, donning crimson shirts, red stocking caps and white beards while exercising in the below-freezing atmosphere.

Click HERE for a gallery from Sunday's races

Click HERE for another gallery from Sunday's races

Elves, or volunteers, passed out cookies and other treats so runners could fuel up and finish.    “I ate the frozen M&M’s they gave out,” participant Tanya York said.

York, a physical therapist at Firelands Regional Medical Center, completed the race with several of her colleagues.

“I like the energy of the race, looking at all the other people all dressed up,” York said. “It’s festive, and it’s a holiday type of extravaganza”

The race resonates with runners because of how unique it is for those enjoying exercise and Christmas, event director Danielle Snare said.

“People love the festive, creative aspect of a race,” Snare said. “The snow also made for a better atmosphere”

All proceeds went to various charities, including Teen Leadership Corps. The organization empowers teens to achieve their leadership potential through a character- and service-based curriculum administered by high schools.

The amount raised wasn’t available at press time.

Sandusky’s one of six cities hosting a Santa Hustle event. Some other venues include Chicago, Indianapolis and Milwaukee.

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