Tuesday, July 23, 2024

First Annual Mistletoe Mile Raises Funds for Feeding San Diego

The top three overall finishers pose for a photo. First place Cole Weber, USMC (center), Second place Blake Bizousky, USN (right), Third place Travis Vining, a friend and supporter of race coordinator (left)

The holiday season in Coronado is the most wonderful time of the year, full of festive fun, parades, parties and now a mistletoe run. The first annual ‘Mistletoe Mile’ was held on Coronado Beach Sunday morning, December 17th. Race coordinator Will Lewis wanted to find a way to support those in need in San Diego and decided in early November to organize Coronado’s ‘Mistletoe Mile.’

“We are donating our proceeds to Feeding San Diego, the area’s premier food bank; every dollar provides two meals and we will be able to donate about $2,000 dollars,” said Lewis. “We would like to make this an annual race, this is our first year and is very small but we would like to grow in years to come.” When asked what inspired him to coordinate the race he shared, “My family has been part of an organization that coordinates a ‘Mistletoe Mile’ in my hometown in Pennsylvania and they have for about 15 years now. They have about 500 runners this year and we hope to grow this race in Coronado.”

Jim Callaway, President of the Optimist Club of Coronado finishes his race.

The race consisted of 34 people that pre-registered and a couple that signed up at the start with an age range from young children to mid-eighties. Jim Callaway, President of the Optimist Club of Coronado and current USATF national champion in Cross Country 8K in the 80-84 age group, was in attendance. He has won more than 31 races at all levels since turning 80. The youngest participants were the Vining boys (sons of the third place winner) and they were so excited to run they did two miles instead of just one.

The youngest participants make their way back to the finish line for the First Annual Mistletoe Mile.

Lewis, a Navy Surface Warfare Officer, and his race coordination team are all military officers stationed in San Diego. “We are very thankful to the City of Coronado for allowing us to host this run and we hope this is the beginning of a great annual event that, most importantly, benefits the San Diego Community.” The primary sponsor of the Mistletoe Mile was the Hotel del Coronado, without whom the race would not have been possible. The coordinators also want to thank Serea Coastal Cuisine, The Henry and Clayton’s for donating gift cards that were provided to the top winners of the event.

Cami Herman (USMC) (left) took first place for women.

As they look forward to next year, the race coordination team is planning for more participants and will offer T-shirts and more. They are hopeful that they can plan an even larger event that will raise money for a good cause.



Jeannie Groeneveld
Jeannie Groeneveld
Jeannie is a retired Naval Aviator and Public Affairs Officer whose post-Navy career includes freelance writing, PR Consulting and a two year stint as the San Diego Padres Military Affairs Advisor. Having been stationed in various parts of the country including Washington D.C., Florida and Hawaii, Jeannie appreciates how amazing the Coronado community is and loves the experience her children have had growing up here. Jeannie earned her BS in Marine Biology from Auburn University, her MS in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego and her MA in Communication and Media Relations at San Diego State University. A life-long learner and avid traveler Jeannie enjoys writing travel pieces, Navy stories and anything else that will broaden her perspective. When she is not working you will find her watching her boys play sports, walking Odin at dog beach, hiking, playing beach volleyball or spending time with the family.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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