The weather outside was chilly as 250 Santas of all ages, from toddlers in strollers to seniors, gathered to participate in the second Loma Linda University Health 5K Santa Fun Run Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. Before the race, social media feeds began filling with selfies and photos of the fun.
The participants were each given a Santa suit to wear during the 5K. After suiting up they were offered fruit and cookies before gathering at the starting line, creating a merry sea of red and white.
From a stage at the starting line Kerry Heinrich, CEO, CEO, Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, greeted the participants, thanking them for supporting Children’s Hospital.
Lyndon Edwards, MBA, MHS, senior vice president, Loma Linda University Medical Center, greeted the runners on behalf of Children’s Hospital and PossAbilities. Edwards invited Lioness, a local group of five young singers, to the stage to perform the National Anthem.
Then Scott Perryman, MBA, Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital senior vice president/administrator, spoke. “It’s truly amazing to see all of the Santas in the crowd today. Community and wholeness are pillars of what we do at Loma Linda University Health. We are overwhelmingly excited to be here today to honor the children of our hospital and have some fun while doing it!”
Participants were warmed up and ready as Edwards invited 8-year-old Joshua Miller, a member of PossAbilities, to signal the start of the race.
Along the 5K route, Loma Linda residents waved their greetings to the Santas. Children’s Hospital overlooks Barton Road, creating a fun sight for patients who happened to glance out a window during the race.
Fifty-three volunteers staffed registration tables and served as race marshals, and a first aid booth was provided and staffed by PossAbilities.
Everyone who participated in both the Holiday Classic on Dec. 4 and the Santa Fun Run received a Christmas tree ornament. The ornament was a red star with the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital logo on one side and the Holiday Classic logo on the other.
Helping to fuel the runners, Stater Bros. Markets provided bananas and oranges for participants, and Biscomerica Corporation donated boxes of chocolate chip cookies for the event. A festive treat -- candy canes -- was donated by Family Dollar.