If you see dozens of runners dashing through Sydney’s north end this weekend wearing Santa hats and ugly sweaters, don’t be too alarmed.
Local runners from various clubs including the Cape Breton Road Runners, Cape Breton Barbarians Triathlon Club and Framework Racing will be up to doing some good this weekend, gathering toys like Santa’s little helpers.
The 5 km race begins Sunday, 10 am, at Governors Restaurant on the Esplanade and will follow a double loop around the north end of Sydney, finishing back at Governors. Cape Breton Regional Police will help reign in traffic as runners and walkers make their way around the loop.
Anyone wishing to enter the race can still do so, according to organizers. Instead of charging a traditional entry fee, organizers Wendy Martin and Tera Camus are asking local runners and walkers to bring a new toy suitable for a child of any age, from newborn to teen.
All toys collected will be donated to Transition House. Last year, Transition House helped support 67 families during the holiday season.
This will be the first Ugly Sweater Race to grace Sydney streets, a movement first introduced as a joke in the USA in 2011 to jazz up a lame pre-Christmas race. Similar races began cropping up around the world as a way for runners to compete for style points. The person wearing the ugliest sweater Sunday will win free brunch at Governor’s afterwards.
The race will also give local runners a means to test out a new race timing system.