Santa Run Draws Crowd to Mattapoisett [PHOTOS]
MATTAPOISETT — Dozens of people dressed like Santa Claus ran through the streets of Mattapoisett on Saturday. The mood was festive — things kicked off with a short children's run as adults lined up to trot a quick five kilometers to the lighthouse at Ned's Point and back.
The region's annual Santa Run, traditionally held in New Bedford, had a new location this year. Organizer Jeff Smith, a two-time Boston Marathon winner and a Mattapoisett resident himself, said overhead costs had become too high in New Bedford considering the number of people who participated.
"We'll still make a donation to the American Legion," he said.
The weather was cold and sunny as runners young and old gathered at the town wharf. Serious athletes and weekend warriors donned their costumes, pinned on their race numbers, stretched their muscles, and socialized. People goofed around and sang as a DJ played popular holiday tunes.
Two miniature horses from nearby Cedar Rock Farm enlivened the scene. The horses, Rollo and Pez, pulled little carts while wearing reindeer antler costumes. "They love the children. They love everyone," said farm manager Kelly Jarabek. Angela Young, an instructor and trainer at the farm, agreed. The horses and their handlers ended up participating in the race, while keeping a safe distance from the human runners.
Around two dozen students and teachers from Central Falls High School in Rhode Island made the trip. Coach Dan Blais said they planned to hike the Grand Canyon during April vacation, and were using the Santa Run to train. Blais said that Smith and race co-organizer Charlie Breagy have always been big supporters of the "Kids in the Canyon" program.
"We always ran in New Bedford. So this year we came to Mattapoisett," he said. "Charlie and Jeff have always been really good to us."