First Annual Storybook Christmas 5K Takes Place In Downtown Zanesville

Local News

DOWNTOWN ZANESVILLE, Ohio- Today marked the day for the first and definitely not the last, Storybook Christmas 5K and 1 Mile Walk. 

Anticipation for the event has been growing as the days went on, especially as a Storybook Christmas ushered in the Christmas season with their Christmas parade just four days ago, Festival of Trees yesterday, and with many more festivities on the way.

The Zanesville-Muskingum County Welcome Center’s expectations for the first ever Christmas 5K were shattered as double the amount of people registered than they hoped for.

“We have over 200 registered. So we were shooting for one hundred, so we are absolutely thrilled, we absolutely doubled our goal. Saw lots of families out tonight walking and we of course have lots of runners. Lots of prizes and we can’t thank Advanced Heating and Cooling enough for their sponsorship of the event. All the money raised tonight will go right back into Christmas decorations for Muskingum County. We want to continue to grow a Storybook Christmas,” Kelly Ashby, vice-president of the Zanesville-Muskingum County Welcome Center stated.

Before the race, we were able to interview one of the 5K participants and get his perspective of what the event happening means for him and his family. 

“Well we’re excited that Zanesville is hosting this event for Storybook Christmas, and our family is excited to see the Christmas lights. So this is a great opportunity for us to spend time together outside and see the lights,” Chad Hollingsworth, a participant in the 5K said.

Hollingsworth added he hoped to cap off the year 2021 with his fastest 5K time.

The course was through downtown Zanesville on flat streets and with the start time right at sunset, the course was the perfect place to view the holiday lights in downtown Zanesville. 

The finish line at the county courthouse included a hot chocolate bar and refueling station.

The first place male finisher was Scott Davies, a Hawking County resident, and the first place female finisher was Mary Beth Matenaer, a resident of Steubenville. 

To get in the holiday spirit, you can attend A Storybook Christmas’ future events, like horse carriage rides, movies at Secrest Auditorium, concerts, and even more parades within the county.

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Gunnar Consol
Gunnar is a recent graduate of Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire having majored in meteorology with minors in mathematics and communications. He was on the varsity track & field team all four of his years at Plymouth competing in the long jump, triple jump, and 100m and 200m races. Growing up in Central Florida, having endured many relentless hurricane seasons and experiencing pop-up thunderstorms everyday during the summer inspired his initial interest in the weather. A lack of cold weather subsequently drove him to attend college in New Hampshire. This was to experience a whole other side of the weather: winter. He is excited to have just moved to Ohio and explore what all the state has to offer. He also hopes that Ohio is a happy middle ground between how hot Florida is and how cold New Hampshire is. In his free time, Gunnar enjoys staying active, going on photography photoshoots, and gardening.