Lake Elsinore’s ‘Santa Dash’ gets participants in the holiday spirit with fitness fun

Family members Natalie Carrillo, Aiden Carrillo, Ava Kraus, Chase Klein, Rachel Carrillo, Abigail Klein, Laynie Martinez, Miriam Kraus, Jessica Martinez, Sarah Santos, Gabriel Santos, Kelcey Martinez, Ethan Martinez and Ian Kraus were dressed up for the occasioning, dawning elf, reindeer and Santa Claus costumes. Alex Groves photo

Dozens of people got to preemptively combat calories from upcoming Christmas meals and look festive as they did so at the Santa Dash 5K Walk/Run outside Diamond Stadium in Lake Elsinore Saturday, Dec. 23.

The event, put on by Lake Elsinore’s Community Services Department, invited people to dress up as their favorite holiday character or tradition. People met that invitation head-on. The parking lot was filled with reindeer, elves and Santa Clauses, many taking selfies.

Joey Kearney, the recreation lead for Lake Elsinore’s Community Services Department, said that participants would either walk or run a 5K in the field adjacent to the baseball stadium.

He said the purpose of the event was to get people up and moving, but an added benefit was that it allowed people to celebrate what they loved about the holidays as well.

“Everyone’s out here looking festive and in the holiday spirit,” Kearney said.

Mason Dowell and Miguel Lopez, two seniors at Temescal Canyon High School, took first and second place respectively in the 5K.

Both seniors participate in Track and Field and Cross Country at their school. They said that they anticipated they were going to do well.

“We love running, so this seemed like a fun way to celebrate Christmas and do what we love,” Dowell said.

Though temperatures around 8:30 a.m. were chilly, it wasn’t a deterrent for the teens.

“I like how the temperature was,” Lopez said. “It was great running weather.”

As dozens of people finished the 5K they were treated to cups of cold water as well as the cheers of their friends and family members.

At least one guest found the event to be lackluster.






“It felt a little underprepared,” said participant Jared McBride, “It just kind of felt like they came last minute, and threw up a table.”

McBride said he would have liked to see such things as a race clock, vendors and maybe a place to get warm beverages such as hot chocolate.

“I could see if this was grandma and grandpa putting it on last minute and they said, ‘hey, everyone we’re going to run it and get some friends together,’ but this is a city event,” he said.

For some guests, the event wasn’t so much about competing as much as it was about spending time outdoors and enjoying the scenery.

Such was the case for Dilayla Ebel, a member of the Lake Elsinore Storm booster club who is active at the stadium.

“I just like to be out,” she said. “This is a beautiful place to walk. I mean, look at all the cool people.”

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