12 December 2023

The YMCA Santa Run took place in Reigate’s Priory park on Sunday 10th December and more than 550 eager runners in festive outfits turned up to join in.

With an adult 3-mile race and a family 1-mile race, there was a distance for everyone. Some had taken part before, some ran for the first time and some took a ride on the shoulders of a caring grown-up. Excitement levels were high and smiles were huge.

Warm up routines aided participants before they ran and mulled wine and refreshments help them to recover once they finished. Every Santa who crossed the finish line received a medal for their efforts.

Ian Burks, Chief Executive for YMCA East Surrey, said:

“The Santa Run is always a fun event. We are so grateful to all the families who have turned out today to help us get the festive season off to a fantastic start!”

The Mayor for Reigate and Banstead, Cllr Eddy Humphreys, not only came along to support the event and send off the runners, but took part in the Adult race as well, alongside his wife, Sarah.

Overall winner of the 3-mile race was Mark Young, who ran this year’s London Marathon in just under three hours. Mark’s 6-year-old son, Oscar, made it a family event, taking part in the 1-mile race.

YMCA regular Katie Foss, 16, was the first lady to cross the line – a brilliant achievement in her first Santa Run at the adult distance.

In the 1-mile Family race, Reigate resident and St Bede’s pupil, Jonty Small, 12, came in first place for the boys. Martha March was the first girl home.

Ian Burks said:

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the incredible people who make up the YMCA team – whether they are staff, volunteers or trustees. Their unwavering commitment and support make it possible to put on events like the Santa Run, enhancing the lives of young people in our community.”

The money raised from the Santa Run will go towards YMCA East Surrey’s Life Change Fund. The charity has recently purchased a new ‘Y-Bus’ – a mobile youth club on wheels to reach young people in areas where there is little or no youth provision. This will be fitted out so that trained YMCA youth workers can use it to provide an informal setting for activities and discussion.

Next year, YMCA East Surrey have fundraising Challenge events which include a night sleeping rough under the stars, a cycling tour of the Isle of Wight, the Y2Y North Downs Trek/Run, the Amsterdam 500 cycle ride and a sky dive.