There is no Turkey Trot in Grand Junction this year, but there will be a Santa Cause 5k Run.

As disappointing as it was to hear about the cancellation of this year's Turkey Trot in Grand Junction, it is equally exciting to hear the annual Santa Cause Run is going on as scheduled.

You don't normally expect to be running a 5k in December when the weather could be in the 20s or the 40s, but the Santa Cause run has become a mainstay during Grand Junction's holiday season. Runners of all ages get together to raise funds for a great cause. This year, Grand Junction Parks and Rec is teaming up with Kiwanis to raise funds for inclusive playground equipment.

Having said that, this year's Santa Cause 5k run will be very different from years past. Due to the pandemic, runners will not be coming together but instead will be running on their own and participating virtually. That means participants will have one week to track their run using a fitness app, such as Runkeeper, and then submit a screenshot of the run from the app for place prizes.

There are categories by age groups for 18 and under all the way up to 60 and older. Runs can take place anytime between Sunday, December 6 and 5:00pm on Saturday December 12.

One of the cool things about this event is that the first 300 participants will get a Santa suit or a race shirt to wear during the run. The entry fee is $30.

In addition to the regular 5k event, there is a 1k event for kids 11 years and younger. the cost is $15, but parents can get a free 1k entry with a paid 5k entry so it makes this a very family-friendly event.

In addition to age group place awards there is a Mr. and Mrs. Claus award for the fastest combined time for a male and a female, as well as a Santa and His Little Helper award for the fastest combined time for a runner over 18 and a runner under 18.

In a year that has largely been void of 5k events in the Grand Valley, this is all just great news for 5k runners in the Grand Valley. This will be my first Santa Cause 5k run ever, and I am completely stoked about participating in this year's event and helping to raise funds for the Kiwanis. If you are a runner or a walker, get your warm running clothes out and get ready. We have just one month to prepare so get registered today with Grand Junction Parks and Rec.

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