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PICTURE GALLERY: Santa run adds pounds

Photo: Mark Williamson (R76/12/16/3533)
Photo: Mark Williamson (R76/12/16/3533)

A SEA of red hats and white beards flooded Stratford-upon-Avon town centre at the weekend as the Shakespeare Hospice held its annual Santa Run.

More than 300 festive racers dressed as elves, reindeer, or Father Christmas took part in the 5km run on Saturday.

The route took runners from the bandstand on the recreation ground, across the Tramway Bridge, along Waterside, past Holy Trinity Church, across the river, and back to the starting line. It was the first year the new route had been taken and organisers said it proved popular.

To add to the atmosphere the hospice even borrowed a snow machine from Tracey Proctor, providing a memorable end to the run for those taking part.

Despite the threat of bad weather the rain held off until just after the last runner had crossed the finishing line.

And organisers are hopeful that the event will raise in excess of £8,000 for the hospice when all the money is counted. The cash will help the charity open its day hospice for an extra day each week and contribute to the extension of its programme of activities for young people.

Organiser, Jenny Cowin, said: “I am thrilled at the amount of support we have had so close to Christmas and the enthusiasm of all the Santas.

“It was amazing to see a sea of red and white running off into the distance. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who was involved in the 2016 Santa Run.

“This event is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year and it has grown a bit for 2016. We just want to keep making it even bigger and better, and we’re looking forward to putting on the Santa Run again next year.”

In the days leading up to the Santa Run a brass band from the Salvation Army entertained shoppers in Stratford. The band set up at the top of Bridge Street last Wednesday, 7th December, where they performed a number of festive carols.

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