Flora-Bama racers "Make it to the Line" for kids at Christmas

Photo Courtesy Flora-Bama Lounge

Flora-Bama's 30th Annual Make it to the Line Run challenged area runners on a brisk morning.

It also saw heavily increased attendance.

The four-mile race raises money for Secret Santa, a group which helps parents give presents and food to children for the Christmas holiday.

Almost 500 people ran, walked or trotted from Flora-Bama to the bridge at Perdido Pass.

The run slowed traffic at the state line as curious drivers watched to see contestants finish their run.

It was a banner year for the race, says Jessica Langston.

"We want to be able to to be able to help the local charities and also we love for people to come out and have a good time. its a great excuse for all of us to get together and whether we are running or fishing or doing any kind of event around here, we just like to have fun," Langston said.

Tony Chapman and his wife decided, like many, to run last-minute.

"My wife and I own a house in gulf shores and we had friends over last night. and Julie said. "I'm running in the race tomorrow" and she said, "what race?" and she told us and we jumped in, came in and registered this morning. ran in it and it was great," Chapman.

He says it was worth it.

"They had the road blocked off. the authorities looked like they were ready to block the area off and it was a straight run all the way through, no traffic problems. They cleared the right side of the road all of the way down to the bridge," Chapman said.

Jessica says the day makes the work worth it.

After all, they've gotten almost a year head-start on funding kids' Christmases in 2018.

"We put a lot of work into these events and we spend a lot of time preparing and then when the end of the days comes and a lot of people here enjoy themselves, it just makes us really happy," Chapman said.

The fastest time in today's race was 22:53.

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