Few gifts are more iconic than the Christmas sweater. Few gifts are more despised.
Put them together and what do you have? Apparently, in Haddonfield and Haddon Township, the first annual Ugly Sweater 5K Run.
‘Tis also the season for bad fashion choices and Wednesday night, some of worst in holiday attire ran through the streets of Haddonfield and Haddon Township.
Joe Norton of Haddon Township is the Asics athletic brand ambassador and came up with the idea to sponsor a run locally featuring ugly holiday sweaters. The Ugly Sweater Run appears to be something of a franchise around the country. Norton recruited staff members at the Haddonfield Running Company to help judge the sweater competition. The Running Company is owned by another Haddon Township native, Dave Welsh.
Participants were asked to bring canned goods and unwrapped toys for the needy, in addition to their very own ugly sweaters for the 5K (3.1-mile) run.
Runners wore a variety of holiday images on their clothes while others wore Santa hats and reindeer antlers. The winner of the ugliest sweater was Stacy Fiske. Stacy wore a vest with a three-dimensional Santa face on front while her dog “Angel” wore a pastel snowman sweater. The duo’s bad fashion sense earned Stacy the top prize, a new pair of Asics shoes.
Other crimes against fashion—er, holiday fashion standouts included Amber and Elissa Koller and their mother Donna Moyer, who ran with holiday pride from Kings Highway to Crystal Lake Pool in Haddon Township and back.
Judge Lora Davis has worked at the Haddonfield Running Company for five years.
“People love a sense of community and our group runs are a staple in Haddonfield," Davis said. "It’s a way to get people together and do something good for their own well-being.”
Shawn Costello echoed Davis' sentiments.
“This time of year can be especially hard when some people are away from family," he said. "One man works in the area and is away from his family during the week. The runs are a great way for him to feel like he is part of the community and a good way to meet people on different levels and ages.”
Ugly sweaters were obviouly inspirational. T.J. Bruzek, the manager at the Haddonfield Running Company, said it was the largest turnout for a themed run since the store opened in 1997.
Did you take photos at the run? Upload your ugly sweater best to our story by clicking on "upload photos and videos," above.