Record-breaking Santa Dash

Hundreds of sporty Santas delivered a £5,000 Christmas present to CancerCare on a festive fun run round the streets of Lancaster on Sunday.

More than 160 people took part in the charity’s annual Santa Dash which included 10K and 5K races and a shorter one-mile run round the city centre Lancaster.

The event has been running for more than 10 years and helps raise money for the charity which provides free professional therapy for people affected by serious illness and bereavement across the Morecambe Bay area.

The day began with a special warm-up at the Lancaster BID stage in Market Square which saw fitness instructors from 3-1-5 Gym put the Santas through their paces.

A staggered start saw the 10K and 5K runners set off first on a circular route along Morecambe Road out towards Scale Hall. Winner of the 10K race was James Bateman and breaking the tape in the 5K was Tomasz Gonet, both runners are from Lancaster.

Shortly after, the streets turned red with swathes of Santas running two laps, a mile in length, around the city centre.

Taking part in their first ever Santa Dash was the Walsh family from Yealand, outside Lancaster.

Dad Ian Walsh said: “I am doing the London Marathon next year but this is the longest run we’ve done together as a family and we’ve been really looking forward to it.”

The city centre was busy with Christmas shoppers, many of who stopped to cheer on the runners as they made their way round streets.

Winner of the prize for raising the most sponsorship money was the Harrison family from Heysham and sisters Annie and Amelie Harrison had the honour of switching on the Lancaster BID Christmas Lights display later in the evening.

Mum Victoria Harrison said:  “It was a magical experience and one the girls will never forget! We loved doing the Santa Dash and we’ll definitely be doing it again next year.”

Organiser Kat Michaels said:  “It was an absolutely magical day. There was a special atmosphere and it was lovely to see all the passers-by getting involved and cheering on the runners.  This is the largest amount of money we’ve ever raised at Santa Dash and I would like to thank everyone who donated money and the dozens of volunteers who gave up their time to make it such a success.”

Thanks go to supporters in the local business community including FGH Security for providing the route marshals, MHA Moore & Smalley, R Leisure Hire, Lancaster BID and North West Private Ambulance Liaison Services. 

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