More than 650 Santas were seen running along the seafront in Hove this weekend, all taking part in the Santa Dash in aid of Rockinghorse Children’s Charity.
This weekend saw the return of 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 return, the event was back again in 2022 and the Santas were out in force!
More than 650 people took part in the sponsored run starting on the seafront in Hove, heading West along the coast and then returning to the starting line to collect their medals.
Despite the cold weather, the intrepid Santas, big and small, brought smiles and festive cheer to passers-by and raised over £7000 so far for the charity with their combined efforts.
The race is organised 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 18 years no and we’re still getting great numbers of people. It’s fantastic that people keep coming along and supporting it.
“We don’t always get weather like this, and we couldn’t have wished for a better morning and we’re hoping we raise quite a few pounds for Rockinghorse!”
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.
Amongst the runners this year was a team from Carpenter Farraday, a financial recruitment company with an office in Brighton.
Simon Nixon, Tom Upson, Kate Wilson and Rachel Symons all donned their Santa suits on a beautiful sunny day along Hove seafront.
The group explained why they were running in support of the charity, “We are a financial services search firm, head quartered in Brighton, so we love being able to support local charities and Rockinghorse is close to our hearts.
“Many of the staff have children in their lives, some who have received first-hand the special care the Alex and Trevor Mann unit provide. We are delighted to raise money for Rockinghorse and look forward to working together more. We absolutely loved our first Santa Dash experience, and we are already excited for next year’s!
“Great day, great atmosphere and brilliant event.”
Also running was three-year old Adam who wanted to raise money after spending the first week of his life on the Trevor Mann Baby Unit in 2019.
Adam’s dad Andy said, “Adam chose to do the Santa Dash because he wanted to help other children, The staff at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit are amazing and help so many families during incredibly difficult situations so we wanted to give something back.”
Adam added, “I had fun! I really enjoying all the cheering when I finished, and Mummy got me a toy reindeer to say well done.”
And running again this year were Aaron, Kieran, Lara, Reece and Skye Batson from near Lewes who came along with their home-made chariot. Aaron explained that each year they create a new version of the chariot, and the smallest member of the team get to be pulled along while the others run!
Aaron spends ages creating each chariot and also makes sure the Rockinghorse logo is included somewhere – this year is was under the top of the snowman’s hat!
Emma Cunliffe, Supporter Engagement Manager at Rockinghorse, was delighted with the turn out this year: “The Santa Dash is such an iconic event and it’s always brilliant to see them all every December, especially all the children and families.
“Thanks to everyone who has taken part and especially to John Gladwin from Santa Dash Brighton for providing all the Santa Suits and medals again this year.”