More than 600 Santas braved the wind and rain to take part in the annual Santa Dash in aid of Rockinghorse Children’s Charity.
This weekend saw one of the highlights of the festive season in Sussex, the annual Santa Dash along Hove seafront.
This ever-popular event sees hundreds of Santas come together every December to run 5k for charity. After last year’s successful run, the dash was back and more than 600 people turned up to get their Santa suits and run along the seafront, starting in Hove and heading West along the coast before returning to the finish line to collect their medals.
However, at 9am the picture wasn’t looking quite so healthy, with very strong wind and driving rain lashing the seafront. In fact, there was even talk of the whole thing being called off or the worry of whether participants would even turn up.
But slowly people started to arrive to collect their Santa outfits, try and find some shelter to put them on, and get ready to race. And luckily, the rain and wind died down so by the time the races started, it was much more pleasant!
The race is organised every year by Commonwealth silver medallist runner, John Gladwin, and Rockinghorse Children’s Charity has been the main charity partner of the race since 2015.
John said: “The Santa Dash has been going for around 19 years now and we’re still getting great numbers of people. It’s fantastic that people keep coming along and supporting it.
“Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t been kind to us today, but it hasn’t stopped us! In fact, it’s felt even more special that so many people still came along to take part and support Rockinghorse this year.”
The money raised will go towards the Rockinghorse Christmas appeal which aims to bring Christmas to children and families spending time in hospital over the festive period.
Spending time in hospital over Christmas isn’t fun for anyone, but it’s even worse for children – not knowing if Father Christmas will know where to find them, not being able to enjoy Christmas at home with their family, not to mention being scared and worried about their treatment.
Emma Cunliffe, Supporter Engagement Manager at Rockinghorse, didn’t enjoy the rain but was delighted with how many people still turned out this year: “First thing this morning we were worried that any runners who turned up would be blown out to sea! But thankfully, the conditions improved, and everyone had a great time.
“Thanks to everyone who came along and especially to John Gladwin and his team from Santa Dash Brighton for providing all the Santa Suits and medals again this year.”