Christmas spirit filled Tilgate Park, Horsham Park and Caterham School on Sunday 27 November as more than 300 Santas and Elves went head-to-head in three competitive fun runs for St Catherine’s Hospice, proudly sponsored by London Gatwick Airport. A fourth Santas vs Elves run was kindly held by volunteers in Chartham Park in East Grinstead.
Runners of all ages dressed in Team Santa or Team Elf T-shirts to get ‘elfy on a run before heading back to find out whether it was their team that had snowstormed to victory.
At Crawley and Caterham as an elf crossed the finish line first, Team Elf were announced Crawley and Caterham’s first ever Santas vs Elves champions but for Horsham it was Santa who sprinted to first place to get Team Santa crowned Horsham’s champions.
After assembling for fun warm ups ahead of the 10am starts, Team Santa and Team Elf runners queued up on the start line as Christmas tunes rung out.
His Worshipful, the Mayor of Crawley, Councillor Raj Sharma, attended to open the Crawley event, Jeremy Quin, MP, attended to open Horsham’s event and Sam Gyimah, MP for East Surrey was there to cheer on runners and open Caterham’s event.
Cheered on by a crowd of lively spectators, supporting either Team Santa or Team Elf, once runners crossed the finish line, they were rewarded with a medal and mince pie before taking selfies at the selfie station and browsing festive stalls.
Amongst the runners was Alison Addy, who is Head of Community Engagement at Gatwick Airport, who also proudly sponsored the event. Alison competed as part of Team Santa and said: “Santas vs Elves was really great fun and I’m definitely feeling festive now! It was so lovely to see all ages coming together and clearly having a great time while supporting their local hospice. I’m really proud to have played my part in raising money to help local terminally ill people this Christmas.”
Michaela Clements, Events Fundraiser at St Catherine’s, said: “It was great to see so many people take part in our first ever Santas vs. Elves fun runs. Their donations will go a long way towards providing care during the festive season. Our runs are on target to raise an estimated £30,000 which is amazing! I’d like to say a huge thank you to all our runners and to Gatwick Airport for their generosity in sponsoring the event.”
If you would like to find out more about supporting St Catherine’s, please visit our Events page here