reindeer run start new cutline

Runners take off as the Reindeer Run 5K begins in 2018. The run raises money for The Y’s scholarship program, which allows people to use its services regardless of ability to pay.

BANNER ELK — The Williams YMCA’s annual Reindeer Run is returning for another chilly holiday-themed 5K on Dec. 7.

The Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk-sponsored run begins at Tate-Evans Town Park, and is open to anyone who would like to participate.

Healthy Living Program Director Bonnie Clark said the turnout for last year’s run was lower than expected because it fell on the same day as a snowstorm that dumped nearly two feet of snow on the county. In total, 120 people registered for the race last year.

“A lot of people were nervous about coming out,” Clark said.

Clark said she loves the course, which is relatively flat.

The funds from the run go to the Y’s access program that helps give families who cannot afford the Y’s services access to them and helps pay for people who may have some barriers to access like transportation or a medical need to use the facilities as well.

Clarks said she wants to work on expanding the fundraising piece of the 5K for future events.

The race is noncompetitive, though Clark will time anyone who wants to know their time and there are certificates for some of the top finishers.

“It’s nothing fancy,” Clark said.

Runners will get the latest version of the race’s shirts, which Clark described as “awesome.”

The event is one of the kickoffs for Banner Elk’s annual “Small Town Christmas” weekend.

Registration for runners ages 13 and up is $25, $10 for ages 5 to 12 and free for racers four years and under. Race day registration is $30.

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