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OC hosts annual Holiday Hustle

The Eagle Trail was packed with practiced and inexperienced runners alike on Saturday morning to make up the largest Holiday Hustle Oklahoma Christian University has held to date.

Traditionally, the Holiday Hustle is a 5K (3.1 miles) event, but this year Oklahoma Christian added a 10K (6.2 miles) run. The race also featured a children’s run for ages 4-9.

There were 369 5K finishers this year, compared to 195 in 2014. The 10K had 159 finishers.

Mark Thompson, adjunct instructor of physics directed this event with his wife Darci Thompson, director of wellness. Together, the couple has made the run an Oklahoma Christian staple for seven years.

“We want to support the sport of distance running in Central Oklahoma on every level,” Thompson said. “Races should be both competitive and loads of fun, and should be a celebration of hard work and the God-given ability to run.”

Among those participating included Santa Claus himself with several of his helpers and Ike the Eagle was spotted on the trail.

After the race, the runners enjoyed a pancake breakfast while Heath Jones, professor of music, performed on his saxophone. Participants also had the opportunity to receive a free massage from Heritage College after the race.

“I felt excited to do this event because this is the second time I’ve ever done a 5K run,” Ashley Ramos, junior nursing major, said. “Plus the weather wasn’t so bad. Even though it’s cold outside, I think it’s a perfect time to run because the heat tires you out quickly, whereas the cold helps cool your body at the same time.”

The top three 10K runners were awarded a cash prize, and the children in the kid’s race were given medals.

The overall winner of 5K adult’s group was Ann Dunn from Norman. The adult’s group 10K overall winner was Aaron Sherf, also from Norman. The winner for the kid’s group was 8-year-old Braxton Molinaro from Edmond.

Terri Cassel from Tulsa broke an age group record. At 54 years old, Cassel ran the 10K in 41:41, shattering the previous record of 45 minutes.

To view the 2015 Holiday Hustle results please click here.

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