Monday 19 March 2018

Thousands of Santas run for charity

People dressed as Father Christmas take part in the Great Edinburgh Santa Run
People dressed as Father Christmas take part in the Great Edinburgh Santa Run

Thousands of Santas have spilled into the streets of Scotland's two largest cities to take part in charity fun runs.

Around 2,500 people ran the 5k Santa Dash in Glasgow, while a further 1,200 put on their red-and-white suits and trainers for the Great Edinburgh Santa Run.

Organisers of both annual events said they were delighted with the turnout.

In the capital, a mass Zumba session was held for the Father Christmases in West Princes Street Gardens to get the participants warmed up for the 1.5k race.

The bearded runners were encouraged to bring along their own "Santa's Little Helpers" and a number of children dressed up as elves were also spotted in the crowd.

The winner of the Glasgow race, which started and ended in George Square, was Congolese Gillet Gaelo, who ran it in under 20 minutes. He said it was the first time he had taken part in a race dressed as Santa Claus.

Glasgow City Council's nominated charity was Malawi Leaders in Learning, which supports schools in the African country, but participants were free to choose who they wished to raise funds for.

Money raised at the Great Edinburgh Santa Run will go to the children's charity When You Wish Upon A Star, and is to be used to send Scottish youngsters with life-threatening illnesses to Lapland.

Margaret Rowarth, Scottish appeals manager for When You Wish Upon A Star, said: "I'm always astounded by the number of people that come out on a cold Sunday morning in December to support our cause. We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support we receive and all the money raised will go towards taking brave children to Lapland."

Glasgow Lord Provost Sadie Docherty said: "The Santa Dash has become a hugely popular date in the city's festive calendar and, when you see that great sight of thousands of red hats bobbing along the street together, it's not hard to work out why."

Press Association

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