Santas gather for the
run-in to Christmas

Runners during Harborough's first ever Santa Fun Run in Welland Park on Sunday
Runners during Harborough's first ever Santa Fun Run in Welland Park on Sunday

The plan is that it will return again next Christmas.

A total of 250 runners congregated outside Welland Park’s café on Sunday, where they were entertained by the Ukulele Orchestra of Market Harborough while collecting their Santa costumes.

Before the race, organisers judged the best dressed dog, with Spencer taking the prize.

The race got underway at 2pm with Santas deciding on whether they would opt for the 2km or 5km course depending on how many mince pies they had eaten.

The Santas were given an extra incentive to catch the ‘Christmas Pudding’ (Dan Hallam) who set-off a few seconds before the rest of the field. Sadly, the pudding proved too fast for the field.

The run was sponsored by Harborough’s Snap Fitness and helped raise £1,200 for local causes, including Diabetes UK, the ukulele orchestra, the HFT charity which helps run the café, the Myton Hospice in Warwickshire and £600 for The Squires Effect,

One of the event’s organisers, Amy Handford said: “Although most people in the park that afternoon were there to watch or take part in the run, we did see some rather baffled people who were not expecting to see 250 Santas dash past them as they went for a quiet stroll along the river.”

The race was the first of its kind in Harborough, following the success of Santa runs throughout the county, including at Lutterworth and Loughborough.

One of the participants, Sophie Alexander said: “We had so much fun and my little three-year-old loved taking part.

“Thanks so much to all the organisers and marshals for a brilliant event.

“We’re really chuffed to have this as a new annual fixture and look forward to it next December.”

The winner of the 5km race was Lee Kershaw, of Desborough, while first over the finishing line in the 2km run was Lottie Edwards of Market Harborough.

More pictures of the event and details about future running and cycling events taking place in the town next year are available from the website www.raceharborough.co.uk.