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Here’s how to get your exercise in before Christmas while helping a good cause
The Grinch Run 5K hopes to collect funds, food for local families

If you’re looking to feel a little less guilty when Christmas dinner rolls around, downtown Gainesville has the 5K for you.

For the second year, Fundracers will be hosting its Christmas Movie Run — this time with a Grinch theme.

The Grinch Run 5K will begin at 8 a.m. Dec. 22. A 10K starts at 7:45 a.m and a fun run for the kids at 9. Cost is $30 for the 5K and $40 for the 10K. The fun run is $15.

“We really try to just make it a fun community event so people can get out there and be with their friends and neighbors and kind of promote health and wellness as well as give back to the community,” said Sarah Glynn, race director at Fundracers.

This year’s beneficiary will be the Gainesville Community Food Pantry, a collaboration of St. Paul United Methodist Church, Grace Episcopal Church, First Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church and First Baptist Church. It serves about 2,400 families each year.

“We decided we wanted to do something that could reach more people and get the word out more, and so I stumbled upon them, and it’s five huge churches there … that all feed into this,” Glynn said. “And I thought how neat it would be for all of these people to come and give back there.”

Part of the proceeds from the race will go back to the food pantry along with all of the protein-rich canned food items they’re asking everyone to bring.

Fundracers, based out of Gwinnett, hosts 5K races and fundraisers for many different causes in many different places. Last year, its Elf Run in Gainesville benefited the Georgia Mountain Food Bank.

There will be plenty of Christmas music and hot chocolate to go around at The Grinch Run — and snow, thanks to a snow machine at the looped start and finish lines. Glynn said they will have a photo booth with props for guests and a blow-up Grinch to loom menacingly over the whole event.

There are more than 250 registered for the race, and Glynn thinks it could reach 400 by the time the race starts. Registration is open through the morning of the event.

“It’s definitely not the Peachtree (Road Race), but I feel that the market is so saturated with 5Ks right now, that to even get 100 people at a race is a good thing,” Glynn said. “It’s like anything, like a concert or a party, the more the merrier. And the energy, it’s kind of palpable. You can almost touch it because everyone’s all excited.”

Each participant will get a long-sleeve shirt for the event and the first 100 will get gift bags.

The course will start on the square and travel down Maple Street, onto Oak Street and then to Woodsmill Road. Racers will go around Gainesville High School's campus, then through Wilshire Trails Park and Rock Creek Veterans Park, ending up back on the square.

Even though Fundracers is based in Gwinnett County, Glynn said they try to help organizations in the area the race takes place.

“We really want to keep it local,” Glynn said.

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