Running of the Kringles

Sunday , November 30, 2014 - 6:08 AM

By ANDREAS RIVERA Standard-Examiner staff

OGDEN — Red outfit? Check. White beard? Check. Jolly disposition? Check. What else does it take to be Santa Claus? Well, you gotta be fast if you’re gonna deliver all of those gifts. There’s no better chance to prove your Santa super-speed than at Ogden City’s Santa Run.

Nearly 1,000 wanna-be St. Nicks assembled for a jolly good run on 22nd Street on Saturday — just one of the festivities of Ogden’s annual Christmas celebration. 

The weather was overcast, but perfect temperature for a yuletide sprint.

Young and old suited up for the yearly tradition to run, jog and stroll their way to the finish line at Ogden Municipal Gardens.

Josh Weber, freshly graduated from Ben Lomond High School and a cross-country veteran, was ready to be the fastest Santa he could be. 

“The Santa Run is the funniest; my dad and I do it every year,” Weber said. 

Doing some pre-race stretches, Weber said he came to compete, but the whole Santa aspect and holiday cheer make it extra fun.

Plenty of Santa families came together to run as a clan for fun. This year’s run was a first for the Niebragges of Ogden. Recently reunited with their daughter who has been overseas, they thought it would be a fun family activity to make a tradition.

Santa never starts a run without warming up, so the group was led into some “Ho-ho Jumping Jacks,” as well as some “Boots, Belly, Beard and Hat,” stretches.  

Luckily the trampling was left on Black Friday, as everyone had a fun and safe jog down Washington Boulevard.

The run even drew the attention of out-of-town visitors. A man who goes by Dr. Dan, from San Diego, was visiting Ogden to get into the holiday spirit with some Christmas weather.

“It just looks like a fun time. What a great town,” Dr. Dan said.

A hydrated Santa is a happy Santa, so his little helpers were at the halfway mark passing out water and cheering on the competitors.

If hot and sweaty Santa action isn’t your thing, there were also some elves, reindeer and snowmen on the prowl as well. Even the Easter Bunny was spotted passing up his holiday rival.

So which Santa was the fastest of the fast? Ruti Ol, 46, from Hill Air Force Base took first place with a time of 17:49.8. Perhaps Ol is in the running to be a Santa Claus understudy for the big day.

Rumor has it that the real Santa Claus was in fact competing as well. With all of the faux Santas about, it would be the perfect camouflage with nobody the wiser.

Contact reporter Andreas Rivera at 801-625-4227 or arivera@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @SE_Andreas.

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