Santa Claus Sumo wrestlers, festive dinosaurs and smirking Grinches adorned the ugly sweaters of runners in the fifth annual Ugly Sweater Run hosted by Friends of the Children Klamath Basin Saturday.
Around 180 people, from couples, to dog-owners and families, attended the snowy Harbor Links Golf Course 5K run which benefits the youth mentorship program.
Friends of the Children board co-chair Jenine Stuedli said they had one of the best turnouts this year.
“It’s a great opportunity for Friends of the Children because a) it’s raising awareness, and b) it doesn’t cost us anything to put it on,” Stuedli said. “It’s kind of what some families see as kicking off the holiday season, especially because it’s on the first of the month.”
Stuedli said some runners take the holiday theme past the ugly sweater level by adding candy canes, jingle bells and blinking lights to their outfits.
“I always wanted to throw an ugly sweater party and I never got to!” she said. “The best part is that kids, dogs, cats, squirrels — anyone can participate. It’s a great way to kick off the snow flake festival.”
Stuedli said some of her favorite outfits from the day included the Sumo wrestler sweaters and a three-piece Christmas suit.
You can run without the proper festive attire, she said, but the outfits are what tie the whole event together.
“Of course, the uglier, the more bling, the better,” she said.
Phil Kensler and Angie Deese, two friends who wore the Sumo sweaters, said they bought them at Fred Meyer because they just wanted to match.
Even though it snowed throughout most of the race, Kensler and Deese described the weather as perfect.
They had a plan for a post-run warm-up with friends who also wore the Sumo sweaters.
“Hot tubbing! We’re hot tubbing right after this. There’s gonna be six of us in there,” Deese said.