Families, groups and solo runners decked out in their finest Santa costumes Saturday morning in downtown Waxahachie.

About 400 runners registered for the YMCA Santa Run. Some came to support the YMCA, others to spend time with family or take on a new challenge. All proceeds benefited the YMCA Angels Program that provides special needs programming for the community.

The four Bell family members participated together, Suzie Bell said, after their daughters urged them to sign up.

“Audrey wanted to do it as a family,” she explained, and it didn’t take much urging to get the family to commit. “It is something we can do together.”

While her parents and brother wore the Santa suits as issued by the race coordinators, Audrey brought several of her own special touches including Christmas earnings and candy cane stripped suspenders to support her favorite lime green accessory.

“I wanted to wear my tutu,” she said.

Across the square, Sean Dunlap was running on his own. This is his first run in a Santa suit and his first 5K, he said, but he was looking forward to challenging himself.

“I have run for a long time, but I wanted to see how well I can run in a Santa suit,” he said.

The non-traditional running gear doesn’t throw him off too much, and provides as festive feel, he said.

“Sometimes, I run to work in my full uniform, so the suit doesn’t feel too uncomfortable,” Dunlap said. “There are a lot of other people here in suits. It’s like I’m at the North Pole with all of Santa’s workers.”

Kati Garrett planned to run the race while pushing her daughter Graci in a stroller. While she was enjoying the red coat, pants and hat, the beard was a bit more than she could handle, she said.

“I had to shed the beard because it kept hitting me in the face,” she explained.

She came out to support the good work the YMCA does for children in the community, she said. Other racers also modified their suits, adding poinsettias, Mickey Mouse ears, antlers, cutting off the pant legs to create shorts or showing off Santa and Christmas-themed shirts under their coats.

Others pushed strollers decorated in tinsel or walked dogs in their own costumes.

See photos from the event in this Daily Light slide show.

Contact Bethany Kurtz at 469-517-1450 or email bkurtz@waxahachietx.com. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BethanyKurtzMidloMirror or on Twitter @bethmidlomirror.