Run, run Rudolph to Oklahoma Christian’s Holiday Hustle

Holiday Hustle 2016. Online photo.

Holiday Hustle 2016. Online photo.

The 7th annual Holiday Hustle 5k and 10k at Oklahoma Christian University is ready to hit the ground running Saturday, Dec. 3.

Darci Thompson, director of TeamOC fitness and wellness at Oklahoma Christian, is head of organized fitness activities, including runs and 5ks on campus. Thompson said the Holiday Hustle is one of her favorite TeamOC events because it includes holiday cheer.

“This race is very unique because we are able to offer a 5k and 10k, so you have the option of either of those events,” Thompson said. “We have a kids run before the actual run starts and it is really fun because there will be people dressed up as Christmas trees and snowmen that run around with the kids, and even during the main run someone dresses up as Santa and runs around, which is so fun. There is a pancake breakfast after the race, which is so much fun and it is such a great way to get in the holiday spirit along with all the other events that take place on campus.”

Thompson said this event has a large number of volunteers helping make the race possible, and she loves to watch participation grow each year.

“The Holiday Hustle benefits the cross-country team and TeamOC, so the students on the cross-country team volunteer by helping with registration and setting up and tearing down before and after the race, they even stand throughout the course and cheer on the runners,” Thompson said. “Registration is a huge part of this event, last year we had close to 600 people register and that was our biggest year, so this year we expect a large number as well, which would be awesome.”

Sophomore cross country runner Rachel Meyers had the opportunity to help out with the Holiday Hustle last year and said she is looking forward to doing so again Dec. 3.

“As a volunteer, I get the chance to either help sign people up or decorate the course prior to the race. I even get to encourage people as they run in the race,” Meyers said. “My favorite part about this race is the atmosphere of it. I love how there are volunteers dressed as snowmen and Christmas trees, the course is very festive and family oriented, which really gets everyone in the holiday spirit.”

Meyers said that she would encourage everyone to participate and sign up to be in the Holiday Hustle. According to Meyers, this event is a memorable experience for friends and family.

“This event is something everyone should experience because it is a fun event to do as a family or even just with friends, and a great way to make holiday memories,” Meyers said. “I think it is awesome that they also have a children’s race, so for the families that do sign up so they get that opportunity for their children to be involved and have a good time as well.”

Sophomore Harrison Petre said he participated in the Holiday Hustle last year because he loves to run and be a part of different activities on campus.

“Last year I decided to run because I knew a lot of my friends were running in it, so I thought it would be fun to do it with them,” Petre said. “Also, it’s fun to challenge yourself and compete against your friends and see who is faster.”

Petre said he is excited to get to run the 5k again, and this year he is setting a new goal for himself.

“I would really like to try and run the 5k faster than I did last year,” Petre said. “One of my favorite parts about running in the Holiday Hustle was being able to start off the race with all of my friends and then seeing everyone finally cross the finish line and seeing how much time it took each of them to finish.”

This year, the Holiday Hustle will be held this Saturday, Dec. 3 at 9 a.m. on the Eagle Trail. Online registration for the event is open until midnight Dec.1 .

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