8 December 2021

Nearly 600 runners gathered in Reigate’s Priory Park on Sunday 5 December to pin on their numbers and adjust beards and trousers in preparation for the return of YMCA East Surrey’s Santa Run.

The Mayor of Reigate and Banstead, Cllr Jill Bray, has chosen the local charity as one of her designated charities for the year. She took part in the Adult 3-mile race, raising a huge £1,400 through sponsorship, and presented prizes to the winners.

Speaking before the races, Cllr Bray said:

“The YMCA Santa Run is such a fabulous event – all the local families come out and run and, even though it’s a horrible day weatherwise, we are going to have a great time!”

Eager Santas included 13-year-old Abigail Softly, who has taken part in every YMCA Santa Run since she was four, and Alfie Courts, aged 4, who completed the Family 1-mile on his dad’s shoulders.

First to cross the line in the Adult 3-mile was Charlie Yeoell in a time of 21 minutes and 40 seconds, with Alice Smith the fastest lady home in 23 minutes and 22 seconds.

In the Junior race, 14-year-old Ben Wyatt covered the 1-mile distance in 7 minutes and 11 seconds to come in first for South London Harriers. Ellie Smith, 11, was the fastest girl in a time of 9 minutes and 4 seconds.

The winner of the Family race was Saffron Firth and all YMCA Santa Run participants received a medal.

The funds raised from this year’s event will go to YMCA East Surrey’s Life Change Fund which has been set up to help local young people who are struggling with the challenges that Covid has brought.

YMCA East Surrey’s Chief Executive, Ian Burks said:

“The pandemic has been really tough for all young people but even more so for those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged. Everyone here today – including the Mayor, all our runners, staff and volunteer officials – is helping us to offer the vital support that is needed and we are extremely grateful.”

YMCA East Surrey is already planning the return of its springtime Fun Run which is due to take place in Priory Park on Sunday 1 May 2022. Details can be found at www.ymcaeastsurrey.org.uk/get-involved/challenge-events/fun-run/