A sea of Santas run for the Hospices

Nearly 500 Santas of all ages transformed Mercedes-Benz World into a festive Winter Wonderland on Sunday as they took part in our annual Woking & Sam Beare Hospices Santa Fun Run. It was the biggest turnout at this family event since it launched in 2010 and whether running, jogging or walking the 2.5km or 5km course a great time was had by all. Christmas songs from Herd of Sax added to the festive atmosphere and this year’s fancy dress competition meant that several reindeers and Elves were also spotted on the day.

Many were taking part to kick start the festive season, and Group Managing Director of the Woking based print and communications company Optichrome, Natalie Stephens, was back with many of her colleagues and their families to support the cause. ‘Last year was so much fun so even more staff along with their families are here today. The children are also very excited to be back and they love the medals they received at the finish line,’ explained Natalie, whose father was cared for in his own home by the Hospices’ Community Team. Other companies, such as Achieve Lifestyle from Chertsey, also saw it as a great team building exercise, whilst enjoying a fun day out with all the family.

Members from British Military Fitness, had seen the Santas take to the street in previous years and therefore decided to take part to support a good cause. Their member Rachel Rutter won the price for best dressed adult, as she took on the fun run as a giant Pink Panther (see photo above). The best dressed child prize went to Elizabeth Knight (left), who was beautifully dressed as a Christmas angel.

Events Fundraising Manager Danielle Le Cuirot was delighted with the turn out; ‘There was such a great atmosphere and the sun came out just as the run started, which was perfect. I would also like to thank Greggs Foundation who supplied all the refreshments, all our wonderful volunteers, who helped make it such a festive and smooth running event, and also to St Johns Ambulance as well as Bustler and Raynet, who supported our marshalling team and provided radio communication so we could keep our Santas safe on route.’

Nuffield Health helped warm up the crowds with squats and lots of belly laughs before Chief Executive, Nigel Harding, thanked everyone for supporting the charity and its nurses who will be working 24/7 over the festive period.

There was also a raffle with the chance to win a collection of prizes and the winners are as follows:

Ticket 96 – Mobile device charger
Ticket 65 – Large teddy
Ticket 118 – ‘Miles from Tomorrowland’ toy
Ticket 71 – Prosecco
Ticket 35 – Bottle of mulled wine
Ticket 108 – Baylis & Harding gift set
Ticket 59 – Afternoon tea selection
Ticket 46 – Herb chopper & board
Ticket 37 – 1000 piece jigsaw
Ticket 72 – candle

Winning ticket holders should contact Fundraising on 01483 881752 if you haven’t already collected your prize.

Relive the festive fun by watching the video on our youtube channel. Photos taken at the event can be viewed on our Facebook page here and you can find out about other forthcoming events by going to our events page.