Reindeer Run: Costume contest and food

Liberty University’s Campus Recreation hosted its annual 2-mile Reindeer Run, recurring since 2015, at the Hydaway Outdoor Center on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 9 a.m. 

The Reindeer Run is the third trail race in the Liberty Mountain Trail Series. 

Despite the rain on Saturday, the reindeer runners did not let it dampen their holiday joy.

Michael Ellsworth, director of Outdoor Campus Recreation, said that the Reindeer Run feels more like a “fun run” than any of their other races. 

“We had a costume contest for runners that had the best ‘Christmassy’ getup. And then we also had different types of food, candy canes and Christmas cookies instead of just our normal race food, like bagels and cream cheese and things like that,” Ellsworth said. “We had Christmas music, we marked the race in Christmas tinsel instead of our flagging tape, and we really tried to reflect this wonderful holiday season with this event.” 

According to student Campus Recreation worker Abby Arbeiter, the memories made at this event were priceless.

“Every year at the Reindeer Run, it’s a lot of fun and memories are made,” Arbeiter said. “My favorite thing today was when everybody was singing along to ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ by Mariah Carey and everybody hit the high note together. It was just cool to see everybody singing together and seeing strangers interact with people who they usually wouldn’t interact with.”

Arbeiter said the Reindeer Run was also an opportunity for runners who have participated in the entire Liberty Mountain Trail Series to look back at all of their memories on the trails they have finished. 

Lynchburg community member Penny Wallace said that she attends the Reindeer Run every year, and this year, for the first time, she won third place in her age group. 

“I typically do this run every year just because I can. I’m celebrating my health, and it’s just good to get out,” Wallace said. “I would do it again, and I would encourage others to as well because here there’s good community, good spirit and it is a
fun event.”

Liberty University’s Campus Recreation has two more runs coming up in the spring semester. The Arctic 5K is the first one — a 3.1-mile trail race that contains both single-track and forest paths — and will take place at the Hydaway Outdoor Center on Feb. 4. Additionally, Campus Recreation has its 1-mile King of the Mountain single-track race at the Liberty Mountain Snowflex on March 4. 

“It’s a lot of fun to have community, to compete with one another, to be outside and breathe fresh air,” Ellsworth said. 

For more information about Liberty University Campus Recreation and its upcoming events and races, follow
@LibertyCampusRec on Instagram or visit their website

Scott is a news reporter for the Liberty Champion

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