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Peachtree Corners Christmas race brought cheer, toys

PEACHTREE CORNERS -- Christmas costume contests aren't that usual this time of year -- unless you're being judged while running through the streets.

On Dec. 15, more than 400 race participants joined the second annual Peachtree Corners Christmas Run (5K and 10K) at the Simpsonwood United Methodist Church, where runners are asked to dress up in creative costumes.

The group started at the church, ran down Jones Bridge Circle, turned onto Jones Bridge Road, then made a loop around Stilson Circle and ended back at Simpsonwood. Those on the 10K path ran the course twice.

At the finish line, several people went home with top prizes in both races. In the 10K, Tara Golden and Nick DelGuercio won North Georgia Canopy Tour tickets and plaques. For the 5K winners, Caroline Reed and Chris Johnson, they were given North Georgia Wine Hiker tickets. First, second and third places were awarded medals.

Winners for the costumes (in more than 20 categories) received gift cards from participating stores in The Forum.

The race wasn't only about giggles and laughs. Attendees were also asked to bring a new unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots.

"It's worth all the hard work to produce an event when you take a moment, look around and see all the generous friends and neighbors carrying new unwrapped toys to donate," said James Lowe, event director. "At the end of the day there were more than 200 unwrapped toys donated."

The proceeds benefitted Simpsonwood UMC.