Santa Dash brings Christmas to town again

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Liverpool Santa Dash 2018. Pic © JMU Journalism

The BTR Santa Dash saw thousands flock to the city centre today, with another record-breaking field at the annual 5K fun run.

Despite the wet and gloomy weather, the Pier Head was filled to the brim with people desperate to spread the festive spirit in red and blue Father Christmas outfits.

Radio City presenter, Leanne Campbell, was the one who broke the news to the crowd of jolly runners that this was the best turnout of a Santa Dash in the event’s history.

The race started on the waterfront and passed some of Liverpool’s most iconic landmarks before finishing outside the Town Hall.

Family members, friends and even pets came along to cheer their loved ones, as runners were greeted with fake snow, drummers and dancers as they crossed the finish line.

Twitter: JMU Journalism

The festive spectacular saw famous faces from sport and entertainment pull on their running shoes and Santa suits to take part.

As with the public, many celebrities were also out raising money for great causes, with members of the cast of Hollyoaks running in aid of the ‘Help the Animals’ campaign run by Channel 5.

Hollyoaks star Adam Woodward told JMU Journalism: “It was fantastic to be involved and it was definitely a good laugh, especially when it’s for a good cause. It was just great fun.”

LFC legend Alan Kennedy said: “I’m very excited, I’m always excited for a Santa Dash. It doesn’t feel like a year since the last one came around. I’m not sure if I’m in better condition now than I was the last year or the year before. I’m trying to get myself ahead but it’s tough.”

YouTube: George Adams

Local charity favourite and Evertonian, Speedo Mick, braved the cold weather in his swimwear yet again to raise money for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

When asked how he found the race, he said: “That was great. It’s so good to raise this much money for charity. I love it, it’s a great day out. I’m here for the fun, it’s great to enjoy yourself and raise a few quid.”

Aside from the famous faces, thousands more took part, although the official number of participants will not be known until later in the week.

Scouse runner Lee Parker told JMU Journalism: “My daughter was in hospital for four months. She was born around the size of a chocolate bar so I wasn’t really getting out much running. Up to now we’ve raised £500 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities and we’re expecting plenty more to be coming in.”

David Rogers-Pooley from Huyton told JMU Journalism “We’re out here today raising money for the Army Benevolent fund. The goal for today was that 20 of us from the 33rd Signal Squadron based down in Huyton would run the race in 30 minutes or less with 10kg on our backs. I’m a bit gutted because I made it round it 32 minutes.”

Twitter: Stephen Killen