Christmas Day Charity Run, Rochester, NY, 12/25/16


Photo credit: Carlos Ortiz, Democrat & Chronicle Staff Photographer

I was drawn to this event because it was a good way to give back on the holidays and get in a workout at the same time. This wasn’t a race, but a group run. Prior to the event, people were encouraged to bring donations – from clothing to non perishables. The collected items would be delivered to the House of Mercy, a non profit housing shelter in Rochester, NY.

The event was a walk/run. Walkers started at 10:45, runners at 11. We gathered in front of Fleet Feet Sports first for a group photo with Santa. A few members of the media were there too, taking pictures and filming us. At 11, we were off. Weather was cold – in the 30’s – windy at times. Sidewalks were slippery in parts, due to ice. Thankfully, we could run in the roads as well.

Total turnout looked to be about 30+ people. I was excited to meet up with my friend Carrie, someone I ran with years ago in a running group. It was also nice to run with Santa, lol.  The route was through the city – down East Avenue, and then turning on Hudson Avenue. Some of us were dressed in Christmas attire. Many people beeped encouragement to us along the way.


By the time we got to the House of Mercy, vans had arrived with all the donations. We then helped carry those inside. I was so impressed with all the items people brought! There were bags and bags and boxes of things! It felt good to help, even if it was just a little.

After donating the items, people went across the street to the fire hall to sing Christmas carols. The organizer of the event should be proud. He should also be proud of the press he got – both newspaper and TV.  This event has grown from 6 to 30+ in just a few years. With the added press and social media exposure, I am sure it will grow even more. Runners are kind, generous and supportive. I was proud to be a part of this. It represents what Christmas is all about.


Mainly flat on streets in and around Rochester, NY
Time: 10:45 for walkers, 11 am for runners
Weather: mid 30s, slight breeze at times
Location: Rochester, NY
Results:  Not an official timed race – 4 mile course
Press: Article from the Democrat & Chronicle, Story on WROC TV 8
More info: Event Facebook Page

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