Santa Runners come to K2 Leisure Centre

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The K2 in Crawley was filled with almost 300 Santa lookalikes on Sunday 22 November, all running to raise money for their local hospice, St Catherine’s Hospice.

Donning Santa suits

Runners of all ages dressed in free Santa suits and hats to take on a 2km route or got ‘elfy on the brand new 5km off-track route. After assembling for a fun warm up ahead of the 10am start, the two groups of runners queued up on the start line as Meridian FM got everyone feeling festive by playing out Christmas tunes.

Mayor of Crawley, Councillor Chris Cheshire, also came out in support of her local hospice. Dressed in her Santa suit, after launching the run by counting down the runners and encouraging them to “go for it”, she moved onto the start line to take part in the 2km route.

The Santa Run was kicked off by the 5km Santa runners who completed a lap of the K2 track before heading off track on a marshalled route through Tilgate Park. As they headed off, the 2km runners began their route around the track.

Medals and mince pies

Cheered on by a crowd of lively spectators, once Santa Runners crossed the finish line, they were rewarded with a well deserved medal and mince pie before taking selfies at the #GetElfy selfie station, taking part in Meridian FM interviews and browsing stalls including: local volunteer, Shirley Stow’s Christmas goodies and the Teddy Tombola. Younger Santa’s also took the chance to celebrate their running successes by getting their faces painted.

Giving the gift of hospice care this Christmas

Michaela Clements, Events Fundraiser at St Catherine’s, said: “It was great to see so many Santa’s taking part on Sunday. Our new 5km route proved really popular and I hope the run got everyone feeling festive. It costs St Catherine’s £180,000 to fund our care over the 12 days of Christmas, but every penny raised brings us one step closer to that target. Our four Santa Runs are on target to raise an estimated £33,000 and I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part in our Crawley Santa Run for giving the gift of hospice care this Christmas.”

All money raised from the Santa Run will help St Catherine’s to continue to support local patients facing a terminal illness and their family and friends. This care becomes especially important during the festive season when St Catherine’s supports families facing what could be their final Christmas together.