Santa’s Helpers Prepare To Run For A Good Cause

Wednesday November 9th, 2016

Posted at 1:28pm

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File photos by Owen Wolter

If you witness a red blur in Amherstburg on November 19th, it isn’t the Flash.

Although the real answer isn’t something you’d see every day, what you’re witnessing is most likely the Essex Region Conservation Foundation’s 8th Annual Super Santa Run. Taking place before the Winter Lights River Festival, runners and walkers will venture out on the 5K course dressed as jolly ol’ St. Nick himself.

Growing every year since its creation, the event is sure to have Santa’s of all shapes and sizes.

“In 2009, more than 175 runners took part in the inaugural Super Santa Run,” said Essex Region Conservation Foundation Executive Director, Richard Wyma. “In 2014, the Essex Region Conservation hosted 380 walkers and runners and in 2015, we had over 6,000 participants.”

Showcasing downtown Amherstburg, the route starts on Richmond St., beginning and ending near Navy Pier Park. Continuing through Fort Malden, participants will end up at the riverfront on Dalhousie Street.

A map is available online for those wanting more information and registration takes place at General Amherst high school that night.

Beyond the scenic path, organizers believe another highlight is the event’s family friendliness: People of all ages and abilities are welcome to participate.

“You can’t be too serious a runner in a Santa Suit,” said Wyma. “The Super Santa Run is a fun, family friendly, event that is great for walkers and runners of all abilities. It will be chip-timed courtesy of WRACE and all participants are encouraged to go at their own pace and to have fun.”

While those involved get a Santa costume as part of their registration, they’re still encouraged to dress for the weather. This is to enjoy Amherstburg’s River Lights Winter Festival, which starts at 6pm.   Sobey’s will also be providing participants with a meal and beverages immediately following the run.

Proceeds from the event help support Essex Region Conservation. People who earn the most in pledges will be awarded prizes for their fundraising efforts as well.

Starting in 2009, the event has come a long way. Still, the foundation continues to have great success with spreading its initial message.

“The Super Santa Run began in 2009,” said Wyma. “The event idea was developed and implemented by the Essex Region Conservation Foundation in an effort to enhance awareness of the Foundation, its efforts throughout the region and to raise much-needed funds for local trail development. This unique, fun and active outdoor event provides a great opportunity to highlight our region and the efforts of the Essex Region Conservation Foundation, all while raising funds for the work the Foundation does in the region.”

Those interested in the Super Santa Run can either register online or via phone at 519-776-5209. Event updates can also be found on Facebook or on twitter.

Adult registration is $40 and Youth (16 or younger) is $30 per person. Discounts are also available for teams of 10 or more, along with a reduced fee for those wearing Santa Suits from previous years. People registering on the day of the event must pay an extra $5 however.

Along with strong participation, Wyma knows the foundation is fortunate for the support they receive from area businesses as well.

“Essex Region Conservation would like to extend sincere thanks to our event sponsors for their very generous support of this year’s Super Santa Run,” he said. “Caesars Windsor, (Gold sponsor,) Sobeys (Amherstburg) (Food & Beverage sponsor) and the Running Factory, (Prize sponsor.) As the only environmental foundation in our region, we are very fortunate to have the support of so many through this great annual event. Thank you to our participants, volunteers and event sponsors – without your generous support, this event would not be possible.”

People wanting to volunteer for the event are still welcome too. Those interested in helping the Super Santa Run are asked to contact ERCA event-planner Alex Denonville, by e-mail or phone number at 519-776-5209 (ext. 367.)

Anyone looking for more information on the Essex Region Conservation Foundation can either visit their website or facebook page.

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