18th Annual Winterhaven Run Through The Lights – 12/11/11
On a crisp and slightly breezy Sunday evening, more than 500 members and friends of the Southern Arizona Roadrunners laced up their running shoes for an evening to celebrate the holidays, community, family, and charity. There were a few Santas, more elves than Mrs. Claus could count, and plenty of pajama-wearing, sugarplum dancing, runners and walkers. The group burned off a few early holiday calories as the they trotted through the Winterhaven neighborhood at the 18th Annual Winterhaven Run throught the Lights. The Winterhaven neighborhood as been hosting the Winterhaven Festival of Lights for more than 60 years now and what better way to see it than running through with a huge group of your closest friends?
The record turnout resulted in an estimated 1500 pounds of donated food for the Community Food Bank in a year when so many are in need. Thank you all very much for your generosity.
During the pre-run announcements, a megaphone malfunction left event director Jim Irish wondering how he was going to share important information with the crowd. One of the participants suggested the “human microphone”, and next thing you know, we have 500 potential race announcers! Could this be the beginning of the end of powered sound systems?
As the run wound its way through the lights, Stop 3 at the island on Christmas Avenue found the group celebrating the birthdays of participants with a hearty singing of “Happy Birthday,” an eight-year tradition. There were an unusual number of women turning 21 this year. We may be checking IDs next year.
Following the 3 mile run and walk through Winterhaven, many folks made their way to Old Chicago for pizza and soft drinks courtesy of the Southern Arizona Roadrunners. This was just another way for the club to thank the running community for all of the support and friendship over the past year. It was a great celebration with plenty of awesome deep dish and regular crust pizza and soda that just seemed to keep on coming. Many thanks to Tony, Alyssa and Tanisha at Old Chicago for the splendid food and hospitality.
We’d like give a special thank you to the creator and director of the event, long-time SAR Member and stalwart Jim Irish as well as many volunteers including Steve and Sheryl Felde, Mary Lasser, Lucas Tyler, Tim Bentley, John Sabatine, and Steve and Christine Outridge.
Stay tuned as next year’s Winterhaven Run Through The Lights promises to be the biggest and best ever!