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Beloved 5k holiday run returning to Anmore — and tidings could get ugly

After a pandemic hiatus, the Ugly Christmas Sweater Dash is expected to see hundreds of residents drench themselves in sweat for child and youth supports.

For two years of virtual events, Tri-Cities residents are set to break out the festive fanfare and drench them in sweat for a good cause.

The Ugly Christmas Sweater Dash in Anmore is set to return in-person next month for the first time since 2019 to Spirit Park on Ravenswood Drive.

It's the ninth time the horribly brilliant minds at "Now That's Ugly" — Chris Boyd and Jordan Birch — have organized the Dash, in which brave participants don itchy, tacky holiday sweaters, as well as toques and spandex, and either run or walk for five kilometres.

In previous years, thousands of people gathered in cold or mild conditions to participate in the beloved event, spreading holiday cheer to those watching and knowing there will be prizes, food and drinks at the end.

So, why would one person do this in the first place?

The Dash also acts as a fundraiser, and all proceeds this year are set to go to ACT 2 Child and Family Services.

The Tri-Cities-based non-profit provides supports for children, youth and adults facing domestic violence, sexual abuse or trauma, and have done so for more than 40 years.

"Our programs and services are designed to meet a wide range of issues such as parent education, family counselling, sexual abuse counselling, specialized therapeutic intervention, and second-stage shelter for survivors of violence," ACT 2's website reads.

"We believe that everyone deserves a chance at a new direction. We take a client-centered, strength-based approach to helping individuals find their own path through the challenges they face."

In 2019, the last in-person run, the Ugly Christmas Sweater Dash raised $2,025 for the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation.

When runners and walkers complete the five-kilometre leg, a Finisher's Festival is set to begin that'll feature hot chocolate, cookies, heat stations and local businesses offering goodies.

As of this publication (Nov. 15), the Dash's website states only 120 spots remain for interested residents.

The Ugly Christmas Sweater Dash is set for Dec. 10 at 3 p.m., with registration open at 2 p.m. and the Finisher's Festival officially starting at 5:30 p.m.

For more information, you can visit the fundraiser's website or send an email to uglydash@gracechoievents.com.

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