By Ashley Cox

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Kick off the holiday season by participating in the 45th annual Sandy Claws Beach Run on Siesta Beach, Saturday, Dec. 11.

Runners and walkers of all ages are welcome for the one-mile or 5K fun runs and encouraged to participate in the holiday-themed costume contest. The one-mile fun run has been redesigned this year to include gathering supplies to create the ultimate cup of hot cocoa during the racecourse.

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Participants will earn a ribbon for the one-mile run or finisher-medal for the 5K run, which will be chip-timed. Custom awards will be distributed to first through sixth place finishers in all age categories. Following the races, runners and their families are invited to stay for music, food and raffle prizes. This annual event is presented by Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources, Dr. Heidi K. Anderson-DOCS and Kiwanis Club of Siesta Key. The 5K run is also sanctioned by the Manasota Track Club and proceeds benefit the “Summer in the Parks” Adopt-A-Camper scholarship program.

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Register by Nov. 17 to guarantee the best price, and receive a runner bag and a long-sleeve performance event shirt.

For online registration or a full schedule of events, visit scgov.net (keywords Registration and Reservations). Registration forms are available for pick-up at any county recreation center, library, or government building. Completed forms can be mailed to Twin Lakes Park, Building C, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota, FL 34241.   Early packet pickup will be from 3-6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9 at the New Balance Sarasota store,1872 Stickney Point Road. Race-day registration begins at 7 a.m.

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The one-mile hot cocoa fun run will start at 8 a.m., followed by the 5K run at 8:20 a.m. The holiday-themed costume contest winners will be announced at 9:15 a.m. Siesta Beach is located at 948 Beach Road, Sarasota.