It’s not easy being Santa at nearly 10,000 feet — or his wife, or reindeer. Nonetheless, Breckenridge attracts more than 500 Santas and Mrs. Clauses, or that is, people dressed as the big red guy and his wife, at Race of the Santas. Kids (dressed as reindeer, of course) run too. This year’s event takes place Dec. 5, along with the Lighting of Breckenridge. It’s one of many holiday events taking place throughout December.
Though the Race of the Santas only stretches for 7 blocks down Breckenridge’s Main Street, “everyone says it’s the toughest 7 blocks they have run,” said Sandy Metzger, events director for the Breckenridge Tourism Office. “Running at almost 10,000 feet adds to the challenge. There are a few people that sprint the race, but the majority jog or walk the course. They are just out to have fun and raise money for a great cause.”
The cause: Adopt an Angel Summit County, which helps families who would not otherwise be able to provide gifts for their kids during the holidays. The race has raised more than $8,000 for Adopt an Angel Summit County since the event began.
Beyond the great cause, the great fun of dressing up in a Santa or Mrs. Claus outfit (or, for kids 12 and younger, wearing antlers and jingle bells), there’s a great incentive — or deterrent, depending upon how you look at it — to running at elevation, and that involves — you guessed it: cookies and milk.
“Think of the milk and cookie station as an obstacle along the race route, for race participants,” said Rachel Zerowin, spokesperson for the Breckenridge Tourism Office.
Locals and visitors alike participate. There’s no need to come pre-outfitted, though if you happen to have your own Santa suit, registration is $15. If not, pick up a Santa suit for $25 at Vertical Runner or the Breckenridge Welcome Center. Kids get in for free, antlers included.
Though the run is non-timed and all about having fun, the top three female and male finishers win prizes.