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Thousands of Santas take part in annual run/walk

11:32 AM, Dec 9, 2012   |    comments
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Thousands of Santas took part in a spirited, holiday-themed event for Toys for Tots in Sevier County.

Nearly 2,500 runners took part in the 2nd Annual Santa Hustle at Wilderness at the Smokies, setting a record number of participants.

"It was a beautiful morning for the race and we enjoyed playing host to such a fun and unique event once again," said Steve Cruz, General Manager of Wilderness at the Smokies. "The growth from last year to this year was incredible and we are already looking forward to next year's event, which we anticipate will be even larger."

Spectators and runners brought new, unwrapped toys that will be donated to Toys for Tots in Sevier County. The organization has been battling a shortage this year.

"After hearing of the Toys for Tots shortage here in Sevier County, we wanted to get involved and try to help as many local kids as possible," added Cruz. "Hopefully our donation along with what was collected from the race will help in putting a nice dent in their current shortage."

Participants in the half marathon and 5k run/walk received a Santa hat, beard, and customized shirt to wear. They were treated to treats along the course and finished the event with a holiday party at the resort.

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