December 4, 2021 was a perfect day for the 38th annual Mistletoe Run that benefits the William G. White, Jr. Family YMCA of Winston-Salem. For nearly four decades, the Winston-Salem community looks forward to the event that brings family, friends and the community together while kicking off the holiday season. The run takes place come rain, shine, snow or even COVID-19. 2020 was the first year that the race did not happen in person. Like many other events, Mistletoe leaders created a virtual event that attracted nearly 1,000 runners and walkers who had the option of participating in the one-mile Fun Run, 5K or Half Marathon from anywhere at any time of day in early December 2020. This alternative was so popular that they offered the virtual option again this year.
The Mistletoe Run’s course goes through the historic West End neighborhood of Winston-Salem where the William G. White, Jr. Family YMCA is located. Half-Marathon runners continue through Graylyn, Reynolda Village and to Wake Forest University’s campus and back. The Mistletoe Run is designed to be a festive, holiday-themed run uniting family, friends, neighbors and the community while benefiting programs for children of the community at the YMCA. Some of these programs are youth sports, swimming, summer camps and more.
Bell, Davis & Pitt is the Presenting Sponsor of the Mistletoe Run. Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist is the Exclusive Healthcare Provider and Foothills Brewing sponsors the VIP Zone. The Mistletoe Run is also Crazy Running’s end of the season celebration run. There were more than 200 children from their program that participated in either the Fun Run or 5K.
Danielle Boyd, Associate Executive Director at the Jerry Long Family YMCA in Clemmons did an outstanding job serving as the race director for the second year in a row. There are also more than 150 YMCA staff and community volunteers that help in making the event such a success with behind-the-scenes hard work to create a fun-filled environment for race day while cheering on the runners. This year, there were four local school teams, Reynolds High School Basketball, Walkertown High School Basketball, Wiley Middle School Cheerleaders and Carver High School Cheerleaders whose students manned water stops providing water, Gatorade and lots of encouragement to the runners.
There were nearly 2,500 people registered for this year’s race. Participants ranged in age from 1-89 coming from all over the country with NC, SC and Virginia being the top three states represented. The runners had amazing run times – Justin Pfruender from Winston-Salem won 1st place overall in the half marathon with a time of 1:16:08.36. Molly Nunn of Clemmons was the first female half marathoner with a time of 1:22:56:.46. Ben Mitchell of Winston-Salem won 1st place overall in the 5K race with a time of 16:05.96 and Anna Edwards was the first overall female 5K runner with a time of 18:35.27.
The Mistletoe team would like to say, “thank you to all of our sponsors, volunteers, Y staff and vendors for making this race a huge success. We are so happy to be back in person and so thankful for your support. We couldn’t do it without you all! Mark your calendars for the 39th Annual Mistletoe Run next year on December 3, 2022!”