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Holiday spirit on display for Reindeer Run

Holiday spirit was abundant Sunday as hundreds of people — dressed in their favorite holiday-themed colors, toy antlers and Seahawks green — scampered through Olympia as part of the third annual Reindeer Run, a fun run to benefit Olympia/Thurston County Crime Stoppers.

Damp conditions and a slow-lifting fog met runners at the two start times: 9 and 9:15 a.m. The first race was for the kids — a 1-mile candy cane run that began and ended at the Hands On Children’s Museum — followed by a 5k run that started and finished at the same destination.

About 360 runners participated in the two races.

The first to cross the line Sunday — after an end-of-the-race sprint — was Brig Seidl, 51, of Redmond. He participates in the Silver Striders Grand Prix series, he said, so he ran in Sunday’s race to continue to accumulate points toward that series and his particular racing class.

Seidl said he is the points leader in his class — ages 50 to 55.

Seidl said he finished with a time of about 19:30. He said he’s been running his whole life, except when he’s been injured.

The first woman to finish was Jennifer Batey, 45, of Tumwater, who finished the run at just under 22 minutes, she said. She has been running since college and has participated in four marathons this year.

“I love the 5k because you can win them,” she said.

Judy Fisher, 71, of Auburn also is a member of the Silver Striders and has been running for 35 years, including 95 races of marathon distance or longer, she said.

“I love the competition and healthy lifestyle,” Fisher said, adding that she’s vegan.

Olympia/Thurston County Crime Stoppers, a mostly volunteer and nonprofit organization, expects to raise about $4,000 from the run, said board president Robbi Wright on Sunday. Entry fees were $30, she said, plus the run received donations.

That money is then used to reward tipsters who provide information that helps law enforcement advance their cases. Rewards range from $125 to $1,000, depending on the quality of information.

The ability to text information is relatively new, said Julie Major, who has a part-time paid position with Crime Stoppers as the TipSoft administrator, so named because of the software they use.

Tips can be sent to crimebusters.org or by phone at 800-222-TIPS (8477) or by text to CRIMES, key word OTCTIP. The phone number that is used to send the text is kept private through encryption, Major said.

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