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Running for charity, just be Claus

About 300 participants took part in the 1st annual Cowichan United Way Santa Run from Duncan city square to the Cowichan Commons last year. - Andrew Leong/file
About 300 participants took part in the 1st annual Cowichan United Way Santa Run from Duncan city square to the Cowichan Commons last year.
— image credit: Andrew Leong/file

Put on your running shoes, running shorts and Santa suit because it’s time to Run for the Claus.

The United Way is hosting its annual Run for the Claus, an event that sees participants  dress up like Santa in order to raise money for the Cowichan United Way.

Last year the Christmas-themed event had more than 200 Santas running to deliver their financial gifts to the United Way.

“It’s just so much fun, it’s hysterically funny when you see 200-plus Santas running down the road. It’s just such a fun community idea everyone was laughing and having so much fun,” Ann Muir one of last year’s participants said.

“There were walkers, joggers, kids in strollers — everyone was welcome.”

This run is part of a larger United Way campaign that runs from September to December. The charity hopes to raise $300,000 during the campaign, $2,000 from the run.

The United Way estimates one in three people in the community use their services — roughly 30,000 people. All of the money raised will be put back into the community.

“It might be yourself, a friend or a family member or it could be a neighbour who needs support. This event raises money for the community and raises awareness about the good work that we do,” Carol Stenberg Executive Director for Cowichan United Way said. “All the dollars raised stay in the Cowichan region.”

CUW hopes to have even more Santas this year. Stenberg estimates that there will be 400 running —good luck to parents who have to explain why there is more than one Santa to their children.

A $20 registration fee will get walkers and runners get a Santa suit and a fun time.

“It is so much fun, everyone is laughing because it’s just so odd. I hope more and more people know about it. I’m excited for it to be bigger and better, I’m encouraging everyone I know to take part,” Muir said.

Run for the Claus takes place Dec. 9 in Duncan. For more information contact Cowichan United Way at 250 748 1312.

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