By ROBBIE EDWARDS firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — INA —The eighth annual Jingle Bell Run/ Walk for Arthritis will be held Dec, 7.
During the holiday 5K race, local runners raise funds for the Arthritis Foundation.
“We encourage as many people to come out — the bigger the team the more money that can be raised,” said Laura Johnston, event organizer and Rend Lake College Aquatics Center Coordinator.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are 50 million Americans suffering with arthritis. Two-thirds of those people are younger than 65, including 300,000 children. It is estimated that by 2030, the number of people with arthritis will increase to 67 million Americans.
The Jingle Bell Run/Walk has been divided into categories. Besides the 5K Run, there will be a Snowman Stroll, Reindeer Run and a costume contest.
The Snowman Stroll is a mile fun walk for any age to walk the track at their own pace. The stroll will start at 8:45 a.m.
“I have seen a mixture of ages participate, from three-year-olds to 80-year-olds,” Johnston said.
The Reindeer Run is designated for children under the age of 10 to run the track. This is a nice safe place for kids to run, Johnston said. The Reindeer Run starts at 10:10 a.m.
There will be a costume contest for the runners who choose to dress in a holiday-themed outfit. Judging will begin at 8:30 a.m.
“Last year, a man dressed as Santa to surprise the children,” Johnston said. “Some people wear antlers, jingle bells on their shoelaces or Christmas socks.”
The RLC Culinary Arts Department will have refreshments available inside the Sports Complex on campus during the event. Those attending can choose from soups, bread, hot chocolate and coffee.
Forms for online registration can be found at www.arthritis.org or may be completed in the RLC Aquatics Center, the Fitness Center in Ina and the RLC Marketplace in Mt.Vernon.
The registration fee per runner is $30. Registration can also be done the day of the race at 7:30 a.m. at the Sports Complex.
“Close to 200 runners have pre-registered,” Johnston said. “I am hoping to hit the goal mark of 500 this year.”
For additional information contact Johnston at 437-5321, ext. 1207.