Participants at a previous 12K’s of Christmas event. Photo courtesy of Snohomish Running Company

Participants at a previous 12K’s of Christmas event. Photo courtesy of Snohomish Running Company

Holiday 12K returning to Kirkland Dec. 15

The event begins and ends at Marina Park.

Kirkland’s annual outdoor holiday event the 12K’s of Christmas is returning to the city Dec. 15.

Brought to residents by the Snohomish Running Company, who took over from previous planner Promotion Events in 2017, the running event comes with two races. There’s a 5K, which begins at 9:25 a.m., and a 12K, which begins at 9 a.m. The day begins at 7:45 a.m. with the packet pickup and gear check stands opening.

Those wanting to pick up packets before the day of the race are encouraged to stop by Road Runner Sports in Bellevue (12200 Northup Way) either on Dec. 13, between noon and 7 p.m. or Dec. 14, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

“It’s promoting a healthy lifestyle,” Grant Harrington, managing partner of the Snohomish Running Company, said. “It gets people out and moving their legs and gives them the opportunity to be a part of something.”

The courses begin and end at Marina Park in downtown Kirkland.

The event has proven increasingly popular since Snohomish Running Company took over it. Though the event has typically been held at Heritage Park, last year there were about 2,500 runners by Harrington’s estimate, which necessitated the move to Marina Park.

“People have fallen in love with the enthusiasm with the overall cheerfulness of the event,” he said, adding that many participants arrive wearing holiday-themed costumes.

Everyone who competes gets a customized race bib, a medal and a toboggan beanie. Snacks are also provided. Though the event is geared toward runners, walkers are also encouraged to participate.

To compete in the 12K, the standard entry is $55, with the 5K costing $45. Students running in the event get a $10 discount. Children who want to be part of the 12K’s of Christmas have the option to join the Kids Dash, a $15 1K.

Harrington noted that the event, in addition to contributing to tourism in the city, also makes for a positive outlet for many residents during the holiday season.

“For a city as a whole, it’s a great thing to have a healthy type of event like this where it’s not all about partying and beer drinking but about going out and doing something good for you,” he said.

For more information about the 12K’s of Christmas, go to bit.ly/2RjoIxG.

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