You could get a pat on the back from Santa if you run in the Merrython this weekend.
The jolly saint will be on hand to interact with the young and the young-at-heart at Henderson rec centre for the 35th annual event co-ordinated by Recreation Oak Bay and the Rotary Club of Oak Bay.
“We do have Santa circulating around through the childminding area and interacting with the adult runners,” said organizer Jenny Rhodes, fitness supervisor at Recreation Oak Bay.
It’s the third year for Rotary Club of Oak Bay in the long-standing community event that features an 8k run, 4k walk and a one-kilometre children’s event.
“The proceeds from the run go to Rotary projects that they do within Oak Bay and the projects they do internationally,” Rhodes said.
Of course Santa is a must have for the one-kilometre loop those 12 and younger will run around the chip trail at the golf course.
“We’ve been trying to develop the children’s event more, and through Rotary they have groups such as Interact [and Key clubs] of young Rotarians … they’re going to be helping with that run,” Rhodes said. “They’re hoping to have little passports that the kids can get stamped. The big highlight is we do have Santa coming.”
Just like those doing the full-tilt 8k and the 4k walk, there will be cheering sections along the route to keep the kids, of all different skill levels, going.
They also offer childminding for the adult events that start at 10 a.m. sharp. The kids run is at 11:15 and, following tradition, Jazzercise does a warmup at 9:45 a.m. There are prize draws throughout the run and posted when you return from your sweatfest.
The 35th annual Merrython Fun Run is Sunday, Dec. 7 at Henderson rec centre. Register for $25 or $5 for the kids event (12 and younger) and registration includes bells.
“We have little bells that we put on the race packages so they can put those on their shoes,” Rhodes said. “It’s been a tradition we’ve done for years. It’s a holiday event so that gets you in the spirit.”
Register that day or find the form online at oakbay.ca/parks-recreation.