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What does 4,961 Santas running along the Oceanfront look like? J&A Racing is trying to find out. This year, they’re trying to host the largest Santa run in the world, and they need 831 more Santas to bring the record home to Virginia Beach.
If enough people register for the 7th Annual Great Outdoor Provision Co.’s Surf-n-Santa 5 Miler taking place on Dec. 17, the race will make its way into the Guinness Book of World Records.
“I didn’t think that breaking the record was attainable,” said Amy Frostick, spokesperson for J&A Racing. “Then I started researching it. Last year we had 4,200 runners and that’s pretty close, so I think we can do it this year.”
Each person that registers to run will receive a bright red, 5-piece Santa suit – beard included. The race course will take the more than 4,000 Santas along the Boardwalk, running at twilight underneath the McDonald’s Holiday Lights at the Beach. Along the course route, volunteers dressed as candy canes and gingerbread people will pass out treats reflecting their costumes.
“All of our races have a theme, and our participants like to dress up. We’ve had costume contests in the past for Surf-n-Santa and people have always been really excited,” Frostick said. “We thought to find a supplier who could produce a Santa suit for us. 5,500 Santa suits will be delivered in the next week.
According to Frostick, more than 1,000 Santas registered between Dec. 1 and the morning of the run in 2015.
For holiday cheer post-race, there’s an after party at the Virginia Beach Convention Center where the seasonally-dressed runners can enjoy live music from Audio Sauce, Sam Adams brews and other surprises.
Registration fees for adults are $60 through Dec. 13, and increases to $70 during the race’s weekend. For Santas under the age of 20, registration is $45.
The race kicks off at 4:30 p.m. and the Post Race Rockin’ Party starts at 5:30 p.m.