SANDUSKY, Ohio — Santa Claus and his elves took a break from their North Pole duties Sunday, December 16, to get some exercise and catch a sneak peek of one of the amusement industry’s biggest new toys — the GateKeeper roller coaster at Cedar Point!
Nearly 2,000 jolly St. Nicks, young and old, swarmed through the greatest collection of rides and roller coasters on the planet during the park’s first-ever Santa Hustle Half Marathon & 5K. They trotted past GateKeeper, the soon-to-be 4,164-foot long coaster snaking its way from Cedar Point’s beach to the main entrance, and stopped to enjoy cookies from volunteer elves.
Finishing first in the half marathon was Brian Kaminski, with a time of 1 hour, 20 minutes and 10 seconds, and Julia Viel, who ran an impressive 1:25:15. Sean Kane finished first in the 5K with a time of 17 minutes and 37 seconds, and Joanna Johnson was the first female finisher with a time of 19 minutes.
The Santa Hustle Half Marathon & 5K started in Chicago in 2009 and has become one of the fastest-growing races in the country, said race coordinator Lauren Stromberg of Adrenaline Sports Management.
“Whether they are serious competitors or just here to have fun, this is one race runners and their families look forward to every year,” Stromberg said. “There are 40-foot inflatables, live reindeer and a fun-filled after-party— what’s not to love?”
The race started and ended at Cedar Point’s Castaway Bay indoor waterpark and resort, which is now open daily through the holidays.
“The runners had a chance to see all of their favorite rides, attractions and the Cedar Point Beach in a different light,” Cedar Point marketing manager Bryan Edwards said. “It also gave them an exclusive first look of GateKeeper months before we open this mammoth coaster to the public in May.”