Over 500 runners dressed as Santa Claus took part in the inaugural Hamilton Santa 5k run on Sunday morning at Hamilton’s waterfront.
It was a windy, brisk morning, with scattered flurries. Despite the cold weather, runners came out in droves for the festive event.
All participants who entered the run were given a full Santa suit, including a beard.
The race started at the Hamilton Yacht Club, went through Pier 4 Park, looped around Bayfront Park, and finished out front of Williams Coffee Pub.
VR PRO, the company that held the event, already has a Santa 5k run in Burlington, Ontario and Burlington, Vermont, before adding a third Santa race in Hamilton.
Kelly Arnott, Race Director for VR PRO, said that despite the cold weather, the run was a success.
“The event was totally amazing today […] it was everything we expected. Young Santas, old Santas, fast Santas, slow Santas, tall Santas, short Santas – everything,” said Arnott.
Victor Gatundu, who won the 5-kilometre run with a time of 16:50, said the race was fun, but he had some technical difficulties during his run.
“It was a good race. It was very cold and windy out there, my gloves were too thin, and my [Santa] pants exploded during my run!” said Gatundu.
Arnott said all the participants had a great time and next year she expects double the amount of registrants.
“[Hopefully] next year we’ll get one thousand [participants],” she said.
The Santa 5k run raised funds for Hamilton’s Waterfront Trust and the Good Shepherd Hamilton.