Big turnout for 25th annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk

By WEEK Producer

December 1, 2012 Updated Dec 3, 2012 at 10:43 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The weather couldn't have been better for the 25th annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk that benefits the Arthritis Foundation.

Organizers say entries for the 5K run and walk jumped this week after the nice weekend forecast was released.

The event began at the Peoria RiverPlex and then wound through downtown streets.

And just to add some holiday cheer, there was also a costume contest for some of the more creative runners and a Reindeer Dash for kids.

"Last year, we had a record breaking year. We had 1,610 participants and we raised over $78,500," said Beth Stewart, director of special events for the local chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. "Our goal this year, I think we'll hit the number of participants as last year and our goal is $90,000."

Statistics show that walking 30 minutes regularly can reduce the risk of developing certain types of arthritis. The disease affects more than 50 million people in America.

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