BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — In 2014, Judge Dave Reich and his wife Ann gathered their community and decided that the best way to spread Christmas cheer was to host a 5k run in Santa Suits. It was a big hit, and since then, there’s been a Santa Run in Bismarck every year that both brings joy to the community and sheds light on the difficult topic of addiction recovery. And this weekend, it’s coming back to the Capitol grounds for its 8th anniversary.

During the event, everyone 13 and over will run or walk a 5K in a Santa Suit, included with the race’s entry fee, on the State Capitol Grounds on Saturday, December 10. Both the classic Santa Run 5k starting at 10:00 a.m. and a more relaxed Ultra-Cool Mile at 10:10 will take place in the morning, and a free children’s race at 9:45 is also available. After the run, snacks, drinks, and picture opportunities will be available. You can register for the event at the site or by using this link. All paid entries include a medal at the end of the race and a Santa suit.

While the run itself begins on Saturday, a presentation kicks off the event on December 9th at 6:30 p.m. Fitting for the 40th Anniversary of the 1982 Boston Marathon, during the seminar on December 9, Dick Beardsley — a runner famous for losing the Boston Marathon and would continue to battle through multiple injuries, traumatic events, and struggles with addiction will share his story. His tale of faith, hope, and perseverance in the face of all odds is one that will be shared at the North Dakota Heritage Center. In addition, the Basin Electric Beacon of Hope Award will be awarded during the reception to an inspirational RADD runner.

All proceeds from Bismarck’s Santa Run go to the RADD (Runners Against Destructive Decisions) group, which was formed with the specific goal of helping people who are recovering from addictions. The organization promotes running as a healthy alternative to other hobbies for those in recovery and their families. After all, the holidays are a time of positivity, cheer, and hope, and the Santa Run is an event that sends a positive message and gives many the opportunity to share their own stories of success — and allows their runners to do so in an entertaining way.

Finisher prizes will be awarded to the top three male and top three female runners in the 5K, and to the top male and female runners in the Ultra-Cool Mile — as long as they’re wearing Santa Run-issued Santa suits. In addition, submitting photos or videos to Facebook and Instagram using the rules listed on this page will also enter individuals in prize drawings. There will also be a contest for the person who brings in the most runners from out-of-state.

More information on the Bismarck Santa Run can be found here.