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Santa’s Reindeer dash

Making the season bright

More than 250 participants help kick off holidays at annual Santa’s Reindeer Dash

Published: 11:20AM December 13th, 2012
Making the season bright

Scott Hansen/Northwest Guardian

Participants (from left) Ashley Webb, Carrie Ferguson, Seth Caldon and Joseph Ferguson wear festive reindeer antlers while running the 10K event during the recent Santa’s Reindeer Dash at Eagles Pride Golf Course. More than 250 runners took part. It was the final event on the JBLM FMWR’s 2012 race calendar.

More than 250 runners participated in JBLM Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s 2012 race calendar finale Saturday.

The annual Santa’s Reindeer Dash — a 5K, 10K and children’s 2K — is a fun run through Eagles Pride Golf Course that ties a ribbon on the JBLM race calendar as the last of the base’s nine organized runs of the year. With holiday music playing through the speakers and runners dressed in their best reds and greens, the run kicked off the holiday season.

Seventeen-year-old Thomas Bolt was the 10K and overall winner with a time of 40 minutes, 40 seconds. Michelle Fetzer was the first female 10K finisher in 46:36. Christopher Franke was the first male to finish the 5K in 20:01 while Jodie Lynn Bolt led the women’s 5K in 23:13.

The festive annual run was a first for families new to JBLM, including the Aguilar family. Arturo Aguilar and his wife Adrianne, brought the whole family to run their first race in Washington after moving to JBLM in July from Fort Hood, Texas.

“We did a lot of runs back at Fort Hood, but it was all flat ground,” Arturo Aguilar said. “There was no trail running. This is definitely a lot different. And a lot more beautiful.”

While his wife and kids ran the 5K, Arturo ran the 10K with a 50-pound rucksack on his back for military training. “It was pretty rough going up the hills,” he said.

For Collette Scott and Jamil Ellinger, Saturday was also their first run in Washington. Scott, who is a Soldier with the Army Reserves, moved to JBLM in July while Ellinger joined her two weeks prior.

Ellinger is an avid runner and finished the 5K second in the 20-29 age division, but when he crossed the finish line he turned around and ran back to Scott to help push a stroller and finish together.

“It was nice to run as a family,” Ellinger said.

Familiar faces from the JBLM running community were also present at Santa’s Reindeer Dash. Jason McKennon was the first 5K finisher at last month’s Turkey Trot. He’s training for a half marathon on New Year’s Eve and ran the Santa’s Reindeer Dash 10K to train on the hills. The Soldier with JBLM Dental Command dressed up his eight first-year residents as reindeer and McKennon pushed his son in a stroller. Once the race started, the runners went at their own pace and McKennon finished second in the 20-29 age division in 51:16.

The first JBLM race of 2013 will be the St. Patty Day’s 5K/10K run March 16.