Christmas lights run
Runners spread holiday cheer while sprinting through the night
“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.
A house with colorful Christmas lights was along the route of a Christmas lights run held in Boyertown.
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.
Two people that participated in a Christmas lights run in Boyertown stop to take a photo in front of a lit-up house.
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.
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.