Marilyn Sheraden spent her Thanksgiving holiday running barefoot on the beach in Rocky Point preparing for the Santa Hustle Half Marathon and 5K at Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale on Sunday, December 16.
Sheraden is 80 years old and she’s joining her daughter, Nicki Uhls, 49, and her grandson, Colton, 13, for the run.
“I think the race will be easier because I’ve been running barefoot on the beach,” Sheraden said from her Mexican vacation spot. “I get into some deep sand and, whoa, that just really stops you. But with the Santa Hustle, as long as it’s smooth, I’ll do well. I’ll have running shoes on and it’ll be easier.”
Santa Hustle participants receive a Santa hat and beard; Santa Hustle performance hoodie to wear while running; and a 5K finisher medal. The event benefits the Glendale Fire Charities. For more information, visit santahustle.com.
“When you sign up, you get Santa clothes,” Uhls said. “I might wear last year’s shirt. It looks like a Santa costume in the front. This year it’s a thicker shirt.”
Sheraden frequently raced when she was younger, but it’s been awhile.
“I used to run when I was younger,” said Sheraden, the previous owner of Phoenix’s Cheyenne Saloon. “I’ve run 5 and 10Ks for years, but I haven’t run in the last 20 years. I’m trying to work my way up to it.”
Uhls said her mom, a Goodyear resident, mentioned in passing that the three generations should run together, but she took it seriously.
“It was my mom’s idea,” she said. “I ran in the Santa Hustle last year by myself. I told her I had the perfect race for us. It’s more of a good time. It’s not stressful.”
Sheraden was a little more hesitant.
“Whenever my daughter brought it up, I said, ‘Yeah, right,’” Sheraden added with a laugh. “She did it last year by herself. My grandson was going to run it last year, but he broke his arm playing football the last game of the season. This year he’s in one piece.”
Uhls has been running since she was 10.
“My parents came into my room and said they were thinking of signing me up for a 10K,” Uhls said. “I said OK. I had no idea how far it was. I played outside every day. We didn’t have computers. I did pool laps every day. I rode my bike every day. I could outrun boys.
“Now my goal is to run and not stop,” she added with a laugh.