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Ladies, start your stilettos (or beards)

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The 2009 Great Santa Run at Town Square on Dec. 5, 2009.
Photo: Hew Burney/www.hewburney.com

Don’t be surprised if the tourist population looks a little extra svelte in Las Vegas next weekend. Sunday, December 4 is the Zappos Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon, with 44,000 runners expected to flood the Strip for the nighttime race. And while the town is feeling athletic, two other races are daring locals to get in the holiday spirit or risk their ankles for charity.

2010 Great Santa Run

On Saturday, December 3, Vegas will once again attempt to win the (highly coveted) world record for most Santas gathered at one time with the annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run. The 5k run, 1-mile walk and giant holiday party gathers about 10,000 folks every year who don red suits and beards to run, stroll or simply enjoy the ridiculousness of hanging out in the Town Square parking lot dressed like jolly old St. Nick. While the hilarity factor has been diminished slightly since the race started providing the stylish Santa getups in various sizes—instead of just extra-large—the event is still a seriously festive way to kick off the holidays and benefit Opportunity Village. Register online or on-site December 1-3.

And Santa's not the only one going for a jog on Saturday. Brooke Burke—remember her from that show on E!?—is hosting a marathon kickoff event also benefiting Opportunity Village that’s a tad on the masochistic side. At 5 p.m. on December 3, the Stiletto Dash will welcome 500 women (and, perhaps, fashionably inclined men) to don their favorite heels and sprint 50 yards through the Palazzo casino. The first-place finisher will take home $5,000 cash (more than enough for a new pair of run-worthy heels), with all participants getting a swag bag, finisher's necklace and admission to the post-dash party—where everyone will probably be wearing ballet flats. Register online, and don’t forget to do some ankle exercises. Fifty yards is farther than you think.

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Sarah Feldberg is the editor of Las Vegas Weekly magazine. A veteran journalist, Feldberg previously worked as the Weekly's web ...

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