Runners Light the Way in Downtown Valpo with Extra Mile and Hometown Happenings

 Photos from the Christmas Lights Run can be seen here!

Thursday night was a huge success as Extra Mile Fitness, Hometown Happenings, and Asics hosted their 5K Christmas Lights Run in the streets of Valparaiso. Despite the chilly weather many people came out to support this Fun Run and be a part of something charitable for the Spring Valley Food Pantry.

"We've been doing this for the past three years but this is the first year that we have done it with Hometown Happenings. We host various 'fun runs' throughout the year and this is one of them. It really got going when it was just me and a group of friends who decided to run downtown to get a good view of the lights and it's turned around from there. Now we've got cookies, Santa, a DJ, all of the things that took this up a notch. Hometown Happenings really took it to the next step up," Todd Henderlong, owner of Extra Mile Fitness said.

Extra Mile Fitness really had the energy flowing the second you walked in. Complete with the musical talents of DJ Donnie and a full sleigh custom designed by S and E Woodworking (located in Hammond), people were able to take photos with the one and only, Santa, and jam to holiday tunes.

Extra Mile Fitness was definitely the place to be. And if you didn't think things could get better how about all the wonderful door buster prizes that were being raffled off at the end of the run? Cookies and hot cocoa was at the ready and an award was given for the best "Christmas Lights" costume. Many people came out dressed their best in hopes of winning the title.

As the Fun Run first kicked off it was very much alive as the runners began their 5K and made it through downtown Valparaiso on Lincolnway as they came around the home stretch. When they made it back they were greeted with hot beverages and the raffling off of the prizes began.

"Best thing I've ever done for myself was start running," was the response I received from Laurie Arnold when asked, "why do you run?"

And with an event like this who wouldn't want to enjoy some late night running with others who share the exact same love for something as you?

Lauren Buff, a participant of Thursday night's Fun Run put it better than anyone could with, "The running bug just got me."

And with that being said let the running bug get you and come out and show your support and come join the Extra Mile Fitness and Hometown Happenings events.

Don't miss the next race for Hometown Happenings on December 20 in Crown Point: Santa Walk and Run. 

"We have our holiday themed Santa Run every year in Crown Point and the idea of having this run to go along with it really seemed like a great addition. I brought up the idea to partner with Extra Mile and we've put this one together so that there's music, food, a raffle, and a part of the proceeds of the race tonight will go to Spring Valley Food Pantry," Tim Fealy, President of Hometown Happenings said. "It's nice to have events like these where they're solely based on getting together to have a good night. We run down the beautiful light covered Lincolnway, we've got some people dressed in crazy costumes, and it's a great way to celebrate the upcoming holidays."