Burghley Park was filled with festive red and white as more than 1,000 people took part in this year’s Santa Fun Run.
People of all ages, from just 10 days to 78 and everything in between, took on the 5km course yesterday (Sunday) in aid of a variety of charities.
The event is organised every year by the Rotary Club of Stamford Burghley. People can choose to support Rotary charities or join a team and support a cause of their choosing.
Rotarian Jon Whowell was delighted with the numbers at this year’s run. He said: “We had around 1,200 Santas which was a huge increase on last year’s 800.
“It’s beginning to feature as the start of people’s Christmas, which is nice.
“We don’t know the finals that have been raised by other charities, but charities that are supported by the Rotary will benefit by £5,000 at least.”
The crowd of Santas began to gather from 10am yesterday. People were kept warm by hot food and drinks and some festive music from the commentary box until the warm-up at 10.45am, led by Wildcats Academy. Mayor of Stamford Clem Walden started the race at 11am and watched as people ran, jogged, walked and cycled around the course. The youngest Santas were wheeled around in buggies and one young man even rode a unicycle.
“Everyone took it in good spirit,” said Jon. “The beauty is that it’s not a competitive run. This year we had some cyclists from CycleWright.co, and they have already said that along with other cycling clubs they want to do a twin event with us.
“They will start at Burghley Park and go their own way.”
Jon thanked all those who sponsored the event and helped on the day, including Paul Johnson, Hindmarch, Ann Corder Recruitment, Waitrose, MB Creative, The Falcon Hotel in Uppingham and Cummins Generatore Technologies.
He added: “On behalf of the club, we are incredibly grateful to the sponsors and all the Santas. We have already started planning for next year.”
As well as helping with the warm-up, Wildcats Academy had a team of more than 35 students who took part in the run. Founder Caz Dolby said: “Its always a great experience being involved local events, and when we were asked to lead the warm up again we were delighted. It was great to see so many people taking part and joining in the event which we have seen grow over the years.”