Do you want to race a snowman? Runners hit the trail Jan. 20

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Katherine Rose Memorial Park is forecasting a blizzard this January, as snowmen of all ages, shapes and sizes gather for the 2018 Snowman Run 5k and Winter Walk. The annual event, set for 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, helps Mansfield area residents kick off the new year with healthy choices and family fun.

Winter Walk began years ago as a grand opening celebration for the Walnut Creek Linear Trail and has continued as a great, family-friendly way for residents of all ages to come together and enjoy the fresh air and cooler temperatures of the season on a leisurely one-mile walk.

In 2017, Mansfield Parks & Recreation announced the addition of the Snowman Run, a 5k race geared towards kids but open to all ages.

Last year’s event broke all previous enrollments, with nearly 200 racers laced up and ready to run.

“We know Mansfield families love to stay active, but we had no idea how popular the addition of the 5k race would be,” said Angie Henley, special events coordinator. “We were absolutely thrilled with the turnout; not just the number of people signed up to participate, but the costumes, the enthusiasm…everyone was truly excited for the event and that makes it all so worthwhile.”

The adorable race shirts feature three “coal” buttons, and participants complete the look by adding scarves, hats and more. Special prizes are awarded for best dressed snowman, adding a whole other warm and fuzzy layer to the fun. The event is timed, with prizes awarded to first, second and third places in each kids’ age division.

Best of all, the race concludes with a seasonally appropriate “warm down” area complete with hot cocoa, s’mores and a huge fire pit. It’s the perfect way to keep your family active and healthy in these cold winter months.

Guests who wish to participate in a lighter version can still register for the one mile Winter Walk. Four-legged friends are also invited to join the fun, and can walk or run alongside their owners but must remain on a leash. Dogs are also eligible for the Snowman Costume contest, so grab your pupper and his corncob pipe.

Registration for the 2018 Snowman Run & Winter Walk opens Nov. 27, and is available online. New this year, register before Dec 15 and receive a custom certificate, making it a great stocking stuffer or holiday gift.

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