Miss A Columnist

Colleen McNicholas is a Chicago South Sider who frequently wanders the streets of the windy city. She is always on the lookout for the best food and adventures this city has to offer. She is a Columbia College Chicago grad and is a marketing/PR professional. A few years ago, Colleen realized how many limitations she was putting on her life and decided she needed a change. She created a bucket list back in 2011 and has been following that bucket list ever since. Now, Colleen finally feels like she is living the life she has always wanted. When not working, volunteering, or trying new restaurants, she enjoys playing the guitar, fashion, going to concerts, running races, and meeting new people. Colleen is also a big thrill seeker: from extreme zip lining, to helicopter rides, to whale watching in Alaska, all the way to skydiving. Colleen wants to inspire people to take risks, try new things, and enjoy every second of life.

Recap: Ugly Sweater Run 2013 In Chicago To Benefit Toys For Tots

Ugly Sweater Runners gather to the starting line
(Photo Credit: Colleen McNicholas)

On Saturday, November 16, runners and walkers came out to Solider Field in their ugliest holiday sweaters for the original Ugly Sweater Run sponsored by Toys for Tots, Samuel Adams, Skedouche, Sports Authority, and StacheTATS. Racers were greeted at the registry tents with race bibs, beer tickets, ugly sweater knitted hats, and temporary mustache tattoos before wandering around the winter wonderland event. Each runner was encouraged to bring a new toy to donate and put under the large inflatable Christmas tree. All toys were donated to Chicago’s Toys For Tots.

The 5k run consisted of holiday music, inflated Christmas decorations, and unlimited hot chocolate at the half way mark. Once participants completed the race, dancing in their ugly sweater attire was encouraged and runners (21+) were given two free Winter Lagers, Boston Lagers, or Angry Orchard hard ciders. Chicago’s Cheesies truck was also in attendance to serve the most unique and delicious grilled cheese sandwiches in the Chicagoland area to all of the ugly sweater participants who worked up an appetite after their long run.

Second year ugly sweater runner Katie Dillenburg from Lemont, IL said: “The Ugly Sweater Run is hands down my favorite race to participate in. It is always a great way to start out my holiday. I think it is wonderful that I can have fun and give back to an amazing charity like Toys for Tots.”

Ugly Sweater Runners getting ready for the fun to begin
(Photo Credit: Colleen McNicholas)


Be sure to keep a look out for the Ugliest 5k on the planet next year if you missed this year’s festivities. People of all ages are welcome to get in on the wacky holiday fun. Dogs too! This is a great excuse to flaunt some hideous holiday attire while having great time with friends and family and being able to give back to a fantastic charity.






A four legged runner in his best ugly sweater attire
(Photo Credit: Colleen McNicholas)

Runner Katie Dillenburg enjoying the holiday scenery during the race
(Photo Credit: Colleen McNicholas)

Runners gathered by the inflatable tree where toy donations were given
(Photo Credit: Colleen McNicholas)

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