2020 IFB 5k: Santa’s Showdown Asheville


Runners startSanta’s 2nd Showdown in WNC will take place on Saturday, December 5th at Recreation Park in East Asheville. This unique event will pit runners representing Elves and Reindeer against each other to establish North Pole supremacy for the coming year.

How does this work? Half the entrants will be designated as reindeer and half the entrants will be designated as elves. At the end of the race, the average time of each group (reindeer vs. elves) will be calculated. The group with the lowest average time will be declared the overall winner!

We will mail out special awards to the Top 10 female and Top 10 male elves, and the Top 10 female and Top 10 male reindeer. Due to COVID-19 regulations we cannot gather post-race. There will be a Facebook Live announcement of the winners following the event.

2020 Race Information and Rules

Dog wearing Santas' Showdown neck scarf walks on a leashRace Date and Time: Saturday, December 5th at 9:00 am

Registration Costs:

  • Oct 30 – Nov 15 – $30/runner
  • Nov 16 – Dec 3– $35/runner
  • Youth 12 & under: $10
  • Guide dogs are free


Sign up here: REGISTER NOW

The second Santa’s Showdown will take place as a live, in-person event on Saturday, December 5 at Recreation Park in East Asheville. This unique 5K will pit runners representing Elves and Reindeer against each other to establish North Pole supremacy for the coming year.

This year’s race has been designed to provide a safe atmosphere for all involved. Runners/walkers can choose a race start between 9:00 and 11:00 AM where no more than 20 people will start at one time.

Race Cap: The event is limited to 180 participants

Two kids wearing Santas Showdown gear look at each other before the start of the raceVirtual Option Out of town for the holidays? No problem! Santa can always find you. For those not wanting to participate in a live event, we have a virtual option where you can run a 5K course of your choosing anytime between November 28 and 12:00 PM on December 5.

Course The 5K course will start and finish at Recreation Park in East Asheville and feature a fast out-and-back on Azalea Road past the JBL Soccer complex and under the  Blue Ridge Parkway.

There will not be an aid station on the course this year. Please plan on being self-sufficient.

Course Map/Elevation Chart

Virtual Runners: Choose your own 5K course.  In order to be included in the results, it must be exactly 3.1 miles.  Distances will be verified with the results you submit via a Strava link.

There is no on-site registration. Everyone must pre-register online on or before Thursday, December 3 at 9:00 PM.

Packet Pickup Schedule
Friday, December 4, 4:30-6:00 PM – Industries for the Blind (240 Sardis Road) – This will be a drive-through process where you can safely stay in your cars to receive your packets. Please wear a face covering when you reach the pickup zone.

Saturday, December 5, 8:00-10:45 AM – Asheville Recreation Park

Virtual runners will have their shirts and swag mailed to them.


In order to provide a safe atmosphere for everyone, the event will be an open race whereby participants can choose their start time. Start groups will be limited to 20 per start time, every fifteen minutes from 9:00 to 11:00 AM and everyone must be off the course by 11:30 AM.

Elves & Reindeers

All participants will be randomly designated as either an Elf or a Reindeer.  Due to the complicated nature of this process and timing it correctly, switches will not be allowed. This will be a bib timed race.  Please make sure your race bib is on your front so we can see when you cross the finish line.


There is ample parking behind and on the west side of the Recreation Park pool.

Volunteers & Questions

Volunteers are needed for Set-Up, Course Marshals, Food & Drink and Take-Down.  This event would not be possible without a great group of volunteers!  To volunteer, or with questions, please email Emily Lancucki at elancucki@ifbsolutions.org.


We’re looking for sponsors for our 2020 race! Connect with Emily Lancucki at elancucki@ifbsolutions.org.

Additional Information

  • Each runner will receive a special, short-sleeve, cotton race shirt to mark the occasion and either an Elf or Reindeer headband.
  • In order to provide a racing opportunity for as many people as possible, spectators or guests will not be permitted at this time.
  • You will be randomly assigned to be either an Elf or Reindeer.
  • Portable toilets will be located near the start/finish line with hand sanitizer

• No on-site registration – all runners must enter register online by Thursday, December 3 at 9:00 PM
• No spectators allowed under North Carolina Phase 3
• If you are feeling any COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home and contact your physician.
• Face coverings must be worn from the time you leave the parking area until you start the race.
• Face coverings must be worn once you finish the race through post-race activities.
• There will not be an aid station on the course this year. Please plan on being self-sufficient.
• Results will only be posted online. We will provide a link for live results with your race week information and will have a QR code posted near the timing tent.
• Awards will be announced via social media after the event is completed – not on site. Winners will be notified by email on how they can receive their awards.

Virtual runners must follow the COVID-19 guidelines in place in your community at the time of your run.

Santa’s Showdown:  Reindeer vs. Elves 5K

Race participants in Santas' Showdown costumes pose before the beginning of the race.Thank you for an amazing turnout at our inaugural event on December 14th, 2019.  We thank all of our participants, sponsors, volunteers and Santa for braving the cold and wet conditions.  It looks like the Reindeer have the bragging rights at the North Pole for the next year as their average time (36:20) was faster than the Elves (37:43).  We look forward to a rematch next year.  In the meantime, results are posted below.  Click this link for 2019 WLOS coverage and start getting ready for 2020.

2019 Results:

2019 Combined Results

2019 Elf Results

2019 Reindeer Results


Santas Showdown Logo with a Reindeer looking at an Elf above the text Santa's Showdown




’19 Visionary Sponsors:


Drinker Biddle Logo


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’19 Fast & Furry-ous Sponsor:


WNC Bridge Foundation Logo


’19 In-Kind Sponsors:

Hanes Brand Inc logo

Ingles Low Prices…Love the Savings Logo


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’19 Media Partner:



’19 Timing Company:

Glory Hound