Christ­mas lights run

Run­ners spread hol­i­day cheer while sprint­ing through the night

The Boyertown Area Times - - COMMUNITY - By Michilea Pat­ter­son mpat­ter­son@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @MichileaP on Twit­ter

“It was great be­cause we were run­ning but it was also great be­cause we were giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity.” — Candice Don­nelly-Knox “Know­ing that with those chal­lenges when we come out of them on the other end, we’re bet­ter women for them. — Candice Don­nelly-Knox

BOY­ER­TOWN » A run in the brisk night com­bined fit­ness and char­ity when a group of women per­formed acts of kind­ness along their 5-mile route.

The run­ning group calls them­selves the “Sole­ful Ma­mas” and last week they had a Fri­day Night (Christ­mas) Lights Run. The run be­gan at Boy­er­town Ju­nior High West and par­tic­i­pants laced up their sneak­ers to see the im­pres­sive light show of houses while in mo­tion. Candice Don­nel­lyKnox, one of the founders of the run­ning group, said the Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions were beau­ti­ful.

“It re­ally felt like Christ­mas. It was re­ally cold. It felt like snow was com­ing. The lights were there and ev­ery­one had their Christ­mas hats on,” Don­nel­lyKnox said, adding that it got the run­ners in the hol­i­day spirit.

She has or­ga­nized a sim­i­lar run for the group be­fore but wanted to make this year spe­cial by adding a char­ity as­pect. While run­ning through the night, the par­tic­i­pants stopped at sev­eral lo­ca­tions and do­nated items. They gave out quar­ters to the laun­dry mat and do­nated dol­lars to the li­brary. A gi­ant Christ­mas stock­ing was filled with hats, scarves and socks then do­nated to the Sal­va­tion Army. The group also dropped off care pack­ages to lo­cal first re­spon­ders and even sang a song at a re­tire­ment home.

“I think peo­ple were re­ally sat­is­fied and felt re­ally happy about it,” Don­nel­lyKnox said.

She said the idea for adding the acts of kind­ness came from see­ing other towns do some­thing sim­i­lar. The acts helped spread hol­i­day cheer and give peo­ple hope, she said.

“It was great be­cause we were run­ning but it was also great be­cause we were giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity,” Don­nelly-Knox said.

She hopes to even­tu­ally make the “Sole­ful Ma­mas” a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion so the group can do even more char­i­ta­ble acts.

The run­ning group be­gan about four years ago and Don­nelly-Knox was mo­ti­vated mostly by the goal to get back into fit­ness af­ter hav­ing her third child. She said she re­ally needed the sup­port of other moth­ers go­ing through the same thing she was. The group has grown since then and now the women race to­gether in events from 5Ks to marathons.

“We’re re­ally ex­pand­ing and do­ing a lot to­gether,” Don­nelly-Knox said.

She said what makes the group spe­cial is that they’re able to achieve their goals to­gether and see one an­other trans­form. The par­tic­i­pants in the group help chal­lenge each other phys­i­cally and men­tally, she said.

“Know­ing that with those chal­lenges when we come out of them on the other end, we’re bet­ter women for them. We’re bet­ter able to take care of our fam­i­lies. We’re bet­ter able to serve the com­mu­nity. We’re bet­ter able to do our work,” Don­nelly-Knox said.

Most of the group is made up of moth­ers but Don­nel­lyKnox said any­one can join and it’s open to all ages as well. For more in­for­ma­tion about the “Sole­ful Ma­mas” visit the Face­book page at w w w.face­book.com/Sole­fulMa­mas.

The Mer­cury is en­gaged in a long-term ef­fort, Fit for Life, de­signed to pro­mote healthy liv­ing. Visit the web­site at pottsmer­c­fit4life.com, like us on Face­book at www.face­book.com/ Mer­cFit4Life and fol­low our ef­forts on Twit­ter @Mer­cFit4Life. Michilea Pat­ter­son is the Fit for Life re­porter and is funded in part by the Pottstown Area Health & Well­ness Foundation.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

A house with col­or­ful Christ­mas lights was along the route of a Christ­mas lights run held in Boy­er­town.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Two par­tic­i­pants of a Christ­mas lights run in Boy­er­town take a selfie. Some of the run­ners dressed in hol­i­day out­fits for the 5-mile event.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Two peo­ple that par­tic­i­pated in a Christ­mas lights run in Boy­er­town stop to take a photo in front of a lit-up house.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Peo­ple that par­tic­i­pated in Christ­mas lights run in Boy­er­town pose for a photo. The 5-mile event al­lowed par­tic­i­pants to see the many Boy­er­town houses dec­o­rated for the hol­i­days.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Par­tic­i­pants of a Christ­mas lights run in Boy­er­town pose for a photo. Dur­ing the 5-mile route, the run­ners stopped at sev­eral lo­ca­tions to do acts of kind­ness such as do­nat­ing hats and scarves.

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