SPRINTING TO CANDYLAND: Running through a winter wonderland

Published 12:05 am Thursday, August 16, 2018

It looked like the annual Candyland Christmas 5K and half-marathon might not happen this year, but the Andalusia Kiwanis Club swooped in to save the day and keep the event going.

“For whatever reason, the other club didn’t want to do the event this year,” John Evers said. “My sister, Jennifer O’Neal, wanted to keep it going and she made it happen.”

Evers said that the run itselft will be pretty much the same as it has been in the past.

“This year, Jennifer wanted to do this as a fundraiser,” Evers said. “She wants it to be a fundraiser for all of the track teams in the county. This would include Andalusia, Straughn, Opp, Red Level, Pleasant Home and Florala.”

With the event being a fundraiser for local track teams, Evers said they are looking to bring in a younger crowd.

“We really want to encourage young people to come out and participate,” Evers said. “We want to get more kids into running and this is a really good event for them to try.”

Evers said that he expects many people to sign up for the event.

“It’s a really great event for the city,” Evers said. “We have people from all over that come to participate in the event. They come here, bring their families and shop at local businesses. Everyone benefits.”

With having people from all over, Evers wants to encourage local businesses to be sponsors for the event.

“We really want to encourage businesses in the area to sign up to be sponsors,” Evers said. “It’s a good way for you to get people to see your business’s name.”

Evers also said he wants to make sure that many people sign up for the event.

“We want as many local runners as possible to join,” Evers said. “We will have the local track teams that will be running and we just want to get as many people involved as possible. It should be a really good time.”

Evers stressed that they wanted to get younger people involved in the event.

“This is going to be a great event for anyone,” Evers said. “Children 10-and-under can run in the 1-mile fun run for free.”

The Candyland Christmas 5K and half-marathon will be held on Sat., Dec. 8 at 7:30 a.m., at Andalusia City Hall.

Registration may be found online at ChronoTrack.com.

Those that sign up before Aug. 31 will receive the early bird special price of $35 for the half-marathon and $20 for the 5K.

Between Sept. 1 through Oct. 31, the registration fee for the half-marathon will be $40 and the 5K will be $25.

From Nov. 1 through Dec. 7, the registration fee for the half-marathon will be $45 and the 5K will be $30.

Race day registration will be $50 for the half-marathon and $35 for the 5K.

For track and cross-country team members, there will only be a $20 registration fee.

T-shirts will be guaranteed to those that sign up before Nov. 20.