AKRON, Ohio — More than 1,100 people braved the frigid cold Saturday morning to run a 5K holiday race in Akron that benefited the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.
The seventh annual Selfless Elf 5K helped the foodbank distribute the equivalent of more than 265,000 meals to shelters, hot meal sites, backpack programs and around 500 food pantries.
According to the foodbank, the top female runner was 20-year-old Macy McAdams from Medina. The top male runner was 20-year-old Kenny Wallace of Vienna.
Participants dressed for the event, running the 3.1 mile-long course while wearing costumes and striped elf socks.
Darlene Wredberg, of Medina, and her family each dressed up as the Grinch.
“We try to do something together as a family every year to give back to our community – to pay it forward,” said Wredberg.
Carmella Ritchey, a 9-year-old from Sharon Township, won the Most Dashing Award for her reindeer costume.
No holiday race would be complete without a visit from Santa. Kris Kringle stopped in for some photo ops with runners.
“We’re so grateful for the many families and friends with us here today, despite the chilly temperature and growing holiday to-do lists,” said Dan Flowers, president and CEO of the Foodbank. “Your support of our hunger-relief efforts and participation in today’s race, helps families in our community facing hunger this holiday season. Thank you for being there for them, and for continuing to be here for us. We appreciate your partnership.”