PHOTOS: Reindeer Runners battle cold, rain for race

Neither rain nor cold could stop the children participating in the Greater Marco Family YMCA’s Reindeer Dash Saturday morning.

As they lined up their tiny feet on the starting line, all eyes seemed set on prize. Y Family Services Director Stephanie Pepper, who helped coordinate the event, shouted, “go,” and the children dashed toward their goal — 50 yards for 2- and 3-year-olds and 100 yards for 4- to 5-year-olds.

Although the drizzle picked up in intensity during the morning, all 17 children who participated finished the race, earning the prize of a hug, high five and the chance to make chocolate-covered reindeer cookies at the end.

“He had fun,” Marsha Warnike said of her 4-year-old son, Ben. “He focused and he finished the race.”

While this was the first year the Y held the dash, Pepper and Jennifer Bristow, who also helped coordinate the event, believed they would hold the event again next year.

“Rain or shine, (the children) had a blast,” Pepper said.

For Linda Keutmann, who will take over as the Y’s volunteer president in January, the race was a good way for the children to enjoy their Saturday morning.

“I think it was great for the kids,” she said. “The staff does a great job so the kids can enjoy the spirit of Christmas.”

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