The streets of Dexter will soon be filled with nearly 2,000 runners taking in the neighborhood’s twinkling lights and wintery twilight, all while raising money for several local charities. The seventh annual Holiday Hustle will take place on Saturday, Dec. 13, beginning and ending at Monument Park in the heart of downtown Dexter.
Runners will be able to take in the holiday sights and atmosphere as they run through the city in 5K and 1 Mile Fun Runs.
Randy Step, the president of RF Events, the organization hosting the Holiday Hustle, said in an interview with We Love Dexter staff on Dec. 9 that he expects this year’s race may host up to 1,800 runners.
People interested in the Holiday Hustle don’t have to be in tip-top shape to join.
“Lots of people walk. You don’t have to train,” Step said.
Step likens running through Dexter to seeing 19th century American lithographs come to life.
“Dexter’s like the quintessential small town. It’s beautiful square, the lights, it’s like the perfect Currier and Ives kind of setting to have a run like this.”
Step affectionately refers to his RF Events staff as the circus, with him being called the head goat. His event production company of ten people has produced over 25 events in 2014. The Holiday Hustle is the last event of the year.
Last year’s Holiday Hustle raised nearly $7,000 for local charities.
Step said $5 of each runner’s registration fee this year will go to local charities Faith in Action, the Dexter Senior Center, the Athletic Booster Club of Dexter and the Dexter Lions.
The first 500 registrants have already signed up, but they will be easy to spot. Those who signed up first will be sporting flashing holiday outfits to light the way for the rest of the pack. Step says that everyone is of course welcome and encouraged to wear festive clothes and even Christmas lights to show off their spirit of the season.
“It’s really a wonderful evening in Dexter,” Step said. “At 4 o’clock, it’s getting dark and lots of people wear little Christmas lights and bells. It’s very festive. It’s just one of those feel good wonderful nights where you go out and take in the fresh air and go for a run.”
All runners will be able to reminisce about the run for years to come by taking home medals and commemorative shirts. Special Christmas tree ornaments will also be on hand for the first five winners in five different age groups.
Snacks will be provided at the end of the runs, and runners may even catch a sighting of Santa Claus himself.
Participants are encouraged to show off their giving spirit by donating canned goods to the Faith in Action food drive that will be set up at Central St. and Monument Park. Food donors will be entered into a raffle drawing for prizes.
Runners who sign up before Dec. 11 at noon will receive discounted registration prices of $34 for the 5K, $19 for the 1 mile race for those under 18-years-old and $29 for the 1 mile race for those 0ver 18. Registration prices per runner during the race weekend will be $40 for the 5K, $25 for the 1 mile race for those under 18 and $35 for the 1 mile race for adults.
Runners can register online at runholiday5k.com. They can also register at Running Fit, located at 5700 Jackson Rd. in Ann Arbor, and at Monument Park on the day of the event. Registration times for each location can be found here.
The 1 mile run begins at 4:15 p.m. in Monument Park on Dec. 13. The 5K race will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the same location.
The Holiday Hustle is largely put on by approximately 150 people who volunteer their time to make sure the event is a success each year.
Sponsors of the event are Busch’s Fresh Food Market and Absopure Water Co.
For more information on the race, email [email protected]