Ugly Sweater 5K is first-time event in Berkeley Springs
BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — Participants can throw on their ugliest holiday sweater and break a sweat in Berkeley Springs’ upcoming race.
The Ugly Sweater 5K Fun Run and Walk will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, in downtown Berkeley Springs.
“We are trying to promote the Berkeley Springs area by creating a series of activities that are held throughout the winter,” said Lori Hansroth, executive director of the Berkeley Springs-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce.
Hansroth said the course is mainly in downtown Berkeley Springs and it begins and ends at Berkeley Springs State Park.
“There is a post-party at the park, with weather permitting, and there will be a D.J., photo booth, food concessions, and ugly sweater contests,” she said.
The idea for the race was conceived based on the fact that no one in the immediate area is doing this kind of event.
“There are a lot of different groups that do holiday runs, but we couldn’t find anybody close to us who do ugly sweater themes,” Hansroth said. “We thought that it would be fun for folks.”
Participants don’t have to run if they don’t want to.
“You can register as a competitive runner, or as an individual or group that just wants to walk the course for fun,” Hansroth said. “We have a lot of people participating that just want to make ugly sweaters and walk the course.”
Racine Racing, based in Williamsport, is the official timer for the event.
There are prizes for winners of the race, and participants who have the ugliest sweater.
“First 100 registers receive a race beanie,” Hansroth said. “We’re giving medals for first and second place for each age group. It’s bragging rights for winning the race. There are prizes for the ugliest sweater and stuff like that.”
Hansroth is hoping the race will be a popular event.
“We’re planning for up to 200 people to come out, but since it’s the inaugural race, we’re just hoping for a good turnout,” she said. “You never know how the weather’s going to be.”
The proceeds of the run support the high school athletic teams in Berkeley Springs.
“The Ugly Sweater 5K Fun Run and Walk benefits the Berkeley Springs High School Booster Club,” Hansroth said. “It’s an athletic booster club; it’s a bunch of folks that do work to support the athletic teams.”
The Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with other groups is putting on a variety of different events for the Christmas season.
Hansroth said there is an organization called Hometown Holidays in Berkeley Springs that are helping to put on the events with cooperation with the Town of Bath and the chamber.
“One project we’re doing is Deck the Meters. We do that in coordination with the Town of Bath. We have the leg lamp from ‘A Christmas Story’ that covers one meter; we have angels that decorate another meter,” she said. “Every group comes up with their own theme. The night before the 5K is the Cocoa Crawl, it looks like it’s going to be very popular. All the downtown businesses will be staying open until 8 p.m., and each one has their own flavor of hot chocolate for visitors to sample.”
Hansroth said she hopes the event will be a good time.
“It’s just something fun,” she said. “It’s a nontraditional race, and folks can come out and be creative and have a good time.”