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Canada’s largest all-Santa 5K by the numbers

The Burlington, Ont. 5K is Canada's original and largest all-Santa Claus race

Santa Burlington 5K
Santa Burlington 5K
Photo: Stephen Tytus.

Downtown Burlington, Ont. will be filled by a sea of red and white on Saturday. A sea of runners in Santa Claus suits.

Canada’s original and most popular, by participation numbers, all-Santa race goes off Saturday. Participants must wear a Santa Claus suit for the entire 5K. The course’s start/finish line is located at city hall with a loop of the downtown core.

The 5K gets underway at 9:30 a.m. with free pizza and hot chocolate waiting for finishers at the end of the race. Canadian Running spoke with race director Kelly Arnott who provided some of the behind-the-scenes numbers for the all-Santa event.

By the numbers


The expected number of participants in Santa Claus suits on Dec. 9.


The number of pieces included in the Santa Claus suit including pants, a jacket, a belt, a hat and a white beard. Santa boots are not required.



The amount, in dollars, that entrants receive off of their registration fee for bringing their own Santa Claus suit. There is same day registration at a cost of $55 or $45 if you bring a suit from a previous race.


The estimated number of participants bringing their own Santa Claus suit, which can be included in the cost of registration. Participants keep the suits which typically last four to five years, Arnott says.


The estimated number of people that have done the Santa Burlington 5K every year since the event’s inception 10 years ago.


The estimated temperature, in C, on race day. Arnott suggests wearing a single layer of tights underneath the Santa Claus suit. “The suit is not overly hot and the jacket opens up a bit,” she says.


The number of Santa 5Ks as part of the VR PRO (the organizers of the Chilly Half-Marathon) series including Hamilton, Burlington, Vermont and Burlington, Ont.


The winning times by Jessey The Elf, who races with Hunter Buxbaum, a Hungarian vizsla, and Erin Wrigglesworth in 2016. The 2017 event is not timed and Arnott says the decision was made to keep registration fees down and to be able to feature finishers medals.

The Santa 5K is one of the final southern Ontario events of the year.