The Phantom Christmas Eve Toy Run
2010 Photos HERE.
In the spirit of the Thanksgiving Day Phantom Pie Run, this event has no real course or entry fee except for an unwrapped toy. So come out early and drop of your toy at Starbucks and Santa might have a goodie for you too!
This year was the 8th running of this unique event that was started by Tom Ming and Luis Cousin (photo). I spoke to them before the run and they said they started it for family and friends to come together for Christmas. From the start they had the toy drive and all the toys collected are donated to the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter.
The event has grown each year and people come earlier to get one of the limited edition sweatshirts. The sweatshirts are paid for by local businesses and Starbucks and Jamba Juice provide refreshments.
I told Tom that the run reminded of my of the Phantom Pie Run and he agreed and said that they wanted to keep it very grassroots and organic and do not have plans to make it a formal event in the future. He did say that for the 10th one they plan to do something special.
In keeping with the spirit of the event, the nice sweatshirts will continue to be limited edition and first come first serve. This year the shirts ran out a little after 7am and then it was time to socialize. Then around 8am the run began.
Traditionally the walk/run is about a 5k that leaves the Market Place and takes a loop through CSUB. The event is not timed, the course is minimally marked and there is not a real start either but everyone seems to be having fun. This run is just a great way to see old friends and get some exercise in before the big Christmas meals. Plus the toys going to kids that might not get one if were not for this event.