EDWARDSVILLE - Trinity Lutheran Church hosted its annual CHRISTmas Ugly Sweater 5K Saturday morning. This was the race’s seventh year.
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The race is a charity event held every year with proceeds going to Edwardsville Neighbors and the Glen-Ed Food Pantry. Each one of those organizations received $1,500.
Trinity hosted Glen Ed Week at the church, a Christmas workshop with the kids that will receive an additional $5,700.
This race used to be a huge draw in the Edwardsville area gathering almost 300 people before the pandemic. In 2020 the race was held virtually before being back in person in 2021.
Casey Shank, the race’s main organizer said that this year they had 201 participants, up from about 150 last year.
Shank said that her favorite part of the event is starting off the Christmas spirit as a community and being able to give back.
What she really enjoys is when people will come up to her and tell her how much they loved the event. This happened multiple times on Saturday, and she said it just makes her day.
“Someone once said that it felt like a Hallmark movie,” she said jokingly.
The overall winner of the race was Max Weber, a freshman runner at Metro-East Lutheran High School.
He runs these 5Ks just for fun and to stay in shape in the off-season.
When asked if he ran a good time he laughed and said “yeah, I’d say it was with a Santa mask on.”
Fellow Metro-East Lutheran freshman Jack Shank came in third in the race.
Although it was pretty cold outside, with temperatures hovering around the low to mid 40s, people still had a ton of fun.
After the race, participants were encouraged to head on inside the church where they had cookies and hot chocolate waiting for them. Runners also had a professional photo opportunity.
Overall, Shank thought the race went over extremely well and everyone is already looking forward to next year.