Folks brave chilly weather in Santa Claus Run

Walt Mares Photo/Gila Herald: Santa Claus waves as he and his assistant prepare to lead the annual Santa Claus Run the week before Christmas. The run is becoming a tradition in Morenci. It is organized and sponsored by the Morenci Community Center.

Morenci, Clifton firefighters help out

By Walt Mares

MORENCI – It appears as if it is becoming a habit. No, more like a tradition. Santa Claus and his assistants riding motorcycles again led the way for the annual Santa Claus Run late last week in anticipation of Christmas this week.

Walt Mares Photo/Gila Herald: Runners take off at the start of the Annual Santa Claus Run held in Morenci the week before Christmas.

The sky was overcast, and the weather was chilly. Santa was dressed quite warmly in his traditional red and white outfit. Meanwhile, the 25 or so runners were clad in sweats. Well, at least some of them wore tops and bottoms while others bravely wore tops but were bare-legged. 

For those who ran and those who only observed the run, the Morenci Community Center had a table set up with a variety of Christmas ornaments and other mementos. Yes, those supervising the table were wrapped up warmly.

There was a need for traffic control to safeguard the runners on their two-mile jaunt. Members of the Morenci Fire Association and the Clifton Volunteer Fire Department handled those chores. And yes, they were all bundled up with heavy coats.

The first wave of runners was ready to roll and took off from the starting line at 5 p.m. Behind them was the second wave that included a mom pushing a hooded baby buggy with her little one all bundled up.

The run did not last long as the distance was fairly short, but it was quite obvious that each runner gave her or his best or efforts approaching that. 

Walt Mares Photo/Gila Herald: A dedicated mother pushes her baby in a carriage and braves the chilly weather as the second wave of runners take off in the annual Santa Claus Run in Morenci.

At the end of the run, there were children who were anxious to meet with Santa and they did. 

Hopefully, the tradition of the Santa Claus Run will continue in the years to come.

Overall, a good time was had by all.

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