In observance of the holidays, Western Reserve Racing LLC, in conjunction with Vertical Runner, is hosting a Frosty 5 Mile and a Mistletoe Mile Fun Run Dec. 24 at First and Main in downtown Hudson, The Mistletoe Mile starts at 8 a.m. and the Frosty 5 starts at 8:30 a.m.
"Last year we had 350 runners. This year we anticipate 700," said Vince Rucci, owner of Vertical Runner.
Last year the event raised $1,000 for Gennesaret's soup kitchen in Akron. This year, proceeds will benefit the Akron-Canton Food Bank and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland.
"Running five miles in downtown Hudson has become a Christmas tradition," Rucci said. "It started with just a few runners meeting at Vertical Runner."
This year the organizers have added an ugly sweater contest to the event. Entrants in that contest must run in their ugly sweaters to be eligible to win a $50 gift certificate from Vertical Runner.
Participants also are encouraged to bring canned goods to be donated to the Akron-Canton Food Bank.
The Christmas Eve morning run is a perfect antidote for the busyness of the holidays, according to Rucci.
"It's a mental cleanse, running through the streets of Hudson," he said.
Wade Caldwell, an employee of Vertical Runner, ran in last year's race.
"It was a pretty light-hearted affair," Caldwell said. "It's a really enjoyable race and fun for the kids, too."
Caldwell said he's bringing his kids, a 7-year-old girl, and a 10-year-old boy, to the event this year.
"It's great family fun," Caldwell said.
To register for the race, visit www.frosty5.com. Register by Dec. 15 to receive a discounted entry fee of $25 and a Frost T-shirt. Registration after Dec. 15 through Dec. 22 is $30 and is $35 on the day of the race. Fee for the Mistletoe Fun Run is $10 at any time.
Prizes and post-race refreshments are provided by local sponsors First & Main, 3 Palms, Flip Side, One Red Door and Vertical Runner.