Santas of all ages walked, ran, drove, scooted and cycled to Reigate’s Priory Park on Sunday 6 December to take part in the seventh YMCA East Surrey Santa Run.
A sell-out success for the second year running, over 600 runners of all ages and abilities signed up for the event, competing in either the adult’s three mile race or the children’s one mile. And the grey weather made no difference to the brightness of the Santa smiles.
Top team performance of the day came from the teachers and pupils of Dunottar School.
Head of Boy’s Sport, Simon Manning, was the first man to cross the line in the Adult’s race, covering the three miles in a time of 19 minutes and 50 seconds. He was closely followed by his wife, Laura Manning, who led the ladies home.
The first and second girls to cross the line in the one mile race were Lily Wilson, 11, and Lauren Gilman-Davis, 12 – also running for the Dunottar team.
Royal Alexander and Albert pupil, Nicholas Smith, aged 12, is no stranger to Santa Run success, winning the race for the fourth year in a row.
Sarah Cripps attended Sunday’s event with more than 60 family members and friends. She ran the race with her three children and raised over £200 in support of YMCA East Surrey.
“My husband, James Tappin, took part in last December’s Santa Run,” explained Sarah. “When he died suddenly from a stroke earlier this year, many people suggested raising some money in his memory and the YMCA Santa Run seemed like the perfect way to do this.”
James’s sons, Jack and Jamie, had the same race numbers they wore last year and Sarah ran with her husband’s number.
“This year, we are fundraising for an amazing project – a new Inclusive Sports Facility that will enable us to offer a far wider range of disability sport and physical activity to all, with a focus on the vulnerable and disadvantaged,” said Ian Burks, Chief Executive of YMCA East Surrey. “We want to be able to inspire and support those who are least likely to participate in sporting activities, but who actually have the most to gain from physical exercise.”
This unique flagship project will help around 800 people with disabilities or long term ill-health each week.
Medals and refreshments were on offer to everyone who took part and trophies were presented to the winners and runners up in each race by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council’s Mayor, Councillor Mrs Joan Spiers.
“The success of events like the Santa Run is down to our passionate and skilled staff, our enthusiastic volunteers and, of course, our determined challenge fundraisers and runners,” said Ian Burks. “We have a full Challenge programme of events already planned for 2016. The experience of a lifetime is waiting for anyone who wants to grab the opportunity! Contact us to find out more.”