All posts by 12 Santa

Still time to register!

Santa is busy printing runner bibs, so on-line registration is closed, but you can still register in person at RoadRunner Sports Thursday anytime between 1 and 7 pm, or on-site on Saturday between 7:30 and 9:30 am.

Avoid any last minute rush on Saturday and register or pick up your packets at RoadRunner Sports at Tempe Marketplace. We’ll have some fun merchandise available for sale – Santa Suits, commemorative posters and some great new tshirt designs! Great stocking stuffers!

Lots to see and do

Bring your family and friends. There will be over 75 vendor and pet rescue booths this year! Gift items for people and their pets, plus free entertainment from the Arizona Canine Freestylers, Cloggers for P.A.I.N., the jazz band and orchestra from Gilbert High School, Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers and Ballet Folklorico “Viva Arizona”.

MCCAC Partner

The 12k’s of Christmas is proud to be recognized as a partner of Maricopa County Animal Care & Control. Check out the 2014 annual report (on to hear more about this year’s successes; fewer animals coming into the shelter because of the success of their spay/neuter programs and more animals finding homes. Thank you all for your support of the 12k’s of Christmas and MCCAC.

Christmas in July

This year’s Christmas in July promotion with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control was a HUGE success. The 12k’s of Christmas offered to pay the adoption fee for any dog that had been at the shelter for more than 90 days. The result – 92 dogs found forever homes – just in the nick of time!

Many more pets – dogs and cats – are still waiting to find a family. If you are looking for a best friend, be sure to visit your local shelter or call a rescue group today!

Arizona Event of the Year!

12k’s of Christmas wins ARIZONA EVENT OF THE YEAR!

The 12k’s of Christmas wins ARIZONA EVENT OF THE YEAR Award! When compared to festivals and events like rodeos, culinary events, beer festivals, concerts, street fairs, and community events, running events don’t usually make it to the top. That makes it all the more-special that the 12k’s of Christmas®, held each year in Gilbert, Arizona, is the winner of the Arizona Event of the Year Award, presented by the Arizona Festivals & Events Association at their 19th annual APS AzTEC Awards luncheon on Friday September 20th.

The International Festival and Events Association-endorsed AzTEC Awards Competition recognizes outstanding examples of festival and event production and promotion in the State of Arizona. A critical component of successful events are their abilities to distinguish themselves in the most attractive and innovative ways possible.

AzTEC judges look at all facets of the event – the activities, marketing & promotion, event programming, economic impact, volunteer & community programs, and sponsor integration – and found the 12’s of Christmas outstanding in all areas.

“We are overjoyed to receive such an honor” said Darryl Toupkin, producer of the 12k’s of Christmas. “My wife and I started this event four years ago because we wanted to celebrate the spirit of Christmas, we love to run, and we wanted to do an event to help the animals. It is gratifying to be recognized by our peers in the event community, especially for a running event that is produced by a two-person company, not a municipality or large event production company.”

In addition to winning the Arizona Event of the Year Award, the 12’s of Christmas© also won Best Merchandise for the event t-shirt and Best Kid’s Element for all of the ways that this event reaches out to youth in the community.

Darryl Toupkin, owner of FieldWorks Events & Marketing Inc., has been active in the Arizona event community for 23 years, producing a number of community events including the Rotary River Rally and Tempe’s Oktoberfest, both AzTech Outstanding Event of the Year winners.

After helping initiate runs at both of these events, Toupkin transformed FieldWorks into a running event company. In addition to the 12k’s of Christmas, Toupkin currently produces Kiss Me I’m Irish Run℠, RedNeck Run℠, Chasing the Sun 7k/5k & Health Fair, and Cinco de Miler.