Omaha celebrates the joys of Christmas, with ugly sweaters

December 22, 2013 by  

On a Sunday in mid-December, more than 3,000 people in Omaha donned ugly sweaters and raced for a good cause.

The second annual Ugly Sweater Run, a 5K event that benefits Toys for Tots, drew a large crowd on December 15. The run was organized by Human Movement Management, which was responsible for managing several other ugly sweater runs across the U.S. and Canada.

Although temperatures on race day were chilly (in the low twenties at the start of the race), people were not deterred. Runner Ryan McGlothlin said that he enjoys running when it’s cold outside. McGlothilin runs up to 10 half-marathons each year and plans on coming back to the Ugly Sweater run in the future. The run’s popularity guaranteed the organizers will bring it back for another year. Local printing companies can help spread the word and increase the event’s popularity.

The run started at Mike Fahey Street, then went around Creighton University’s campus, before ducking under I-480 to Capitol Avenue. It ended at the 10th street Century Link Center. Along the route, there was an inflatable candy cane forest, a 34-foot Santa Claus, and photo stations. Complimentary beer and cider from Samuel Adams and Angry Orchard was available, as was hot chocolate.

Serious runners weren’t the only ones who participated. A number of parents bundled up their little runs and pushed their strollers along the 5K route. Some groups participated in the race to celebrate the birthdays of friends or loved ones.

From a charitable standpoint, the run was also a success. The Marine Corps Reserves in Omaha collected more toys than they anticipated.