Ugly Christmas sweater 5K coming to Omaha -
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Ugly Christmas sweater 5K coming to Omaha

Katy Healey

Fitness reporter Katy Healey shares exercise tips, tidbits, news and upcoming local races in her weekly column. Check out this VIDEO to learn more about Katy and LiveWellNebraska.

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I love Christmas. Everything about it.

Watching “Jingle All the Way.” (Best worst movie ever.) Listening to Mariah Carey's “All I Want for Christmas is You” on repeat. Walking out of the Christmas Eve service to a fresh dusting of snow. Mentioning Santa to trick small children into good behavior.

But most of all...I love ugly Christmas sweaters. Joy incarnate as red and green wool. And this winter, Omaha is hosting the biggest ugly Christmas sweater party Nebraska has ever seen in the form of a chill (pun intended) fun run. The Ugly Sweater 5K is Sunday, Dec. 16. How great is that? But it gets better:

• There will be hot cocoa stations on the course.

• There will be sled hills along the course, weather permitting. (Organizers will bring snow machines, regardless.)

• There will be fake mustaches. (Because the best way to accessorize an UCS is with festive facial hair. Duh.) You get a fake 'stache in your race bag, along with a pint glass and Christmas hat.

• There will be Sam Adams Winter Lager for those 21 and older. (Your first two are free.)

Omaha is one of seven cities to host the race this year, and more than 3,000 people are already signed up. Organizer Leah Smith said she expects registration to double by the time race day rolls around, making it the largest Ugly Sweater Run outside of Colorado. (The original race started last year near Denver).

The 3.1-mile course starts at 11 a.m. outside the Century Link Century in downtown Omaha. Worried you can't do it? The event website says you can: “The Ugly Sweater Run is an event for everyone. If you want to wear spandex under your sweater and race fast, that's cool, but you're missing the point.”

Runners are encouraged, but not required, to bring an unused, unwrapped toy and place it under the race's giant inflatable tree. The gifts will go toward Omaha's chapter of Toys for Tots.

So sign up online for $30 before the fee goes up Dec. 9. The last day to register is Friday, Dec. 14. Click here for more race details.

I hope you have the ugliest sweater there.

> > > The Jingle Bell Run 5K is Saturday morning in Papillion. Costumes are encouraged. Online registration is closed, but you can still sign up in person during packet pick-up on Thursday between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. at Athletes' Training Center Sports Performance & Physical Therapy located at 13809 Industrial Road in Omaha. Click here for more race details.

> > > And because I know you're now dying to hear it, I give you, "All I Want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey:

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