Frigid 5K kicks off Olde Tyme Christmas in Medina

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 November 2021 at 1:22 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Ryan Czaja of Middleport wears a Santa suit while running a 5K this morning in Medina. He was one of 75 participants in the 9th annual Home for the Holidays 5K. Czaja also is the Middleport fire chief. He has worn the Santa suit for the race at least three times.

“It makes the kids smile,” he said.

Debbie Tompkins, co-director of the race with Teresa Wilkins, welcomes the runners for the 5K race. Tompkins and Wilkins have organized the event the past four years. Last year’s was capped at 50 due to Covid restrictions. This year there wasn’t a cutoff.

The runners, including Santa, get lined up in the Canal Basin for the start of the race. The proceeds from the event, estimated at $1,000, will be given to the Hands for Hope ministry.

The runners take off at the Canal Basin this morning when temperatures were about 30 degrees.

Aurora Owczarczak has an elf costume on for the race. She is close to the finish on the Prospect Avenue lift bridge.

Alden Cayea of Medina won the race in a time of 18:33. Kimberly Mills of Oakfield was the first woman to cross the finish line in a time of 21:09.

Loren Jones and Katy Owczarczak head to the finish line amidst a brief blast of snow.