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Hundreds turn out for Bideford's inaugural Santas on the Run

By NDJPeter  |  Posted: December 02, 2013

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RED robes and white beards filled the streets of Bideford yesterday as part of the town’s inaugural Santas on the Run event.

The fun run saw 150 people race along a short 2km course while dressed head to toe in Santa Claus’ familiar festive regalia.

The event was organised by Children’s Hospice South West, who announced before the run that more than £3,000 had already been pledged for the event.

Marina Leadbetter, events fundraiser for the hospice, said the event had proven to be a fantastic success.

She said: “It couldn’t have gone better. Perfect weather, perfect running conditions and the atmosphere was great.

“I must say a massive thank you to the Bideford Festive Committee for letting us come along and run this event alongside tonight’s festivities.

“This is our very first one we have held in Bideford and it has gone better than we imagined. We will definitely be doing it again next year.”

The event saw a mixed bag of entries, with participants ranging from babies as young as six months old to grandparents.

More than half a dozen dogs also took part in the event, completing the course in their very own festive outfits.

From the human entries, Wayne Harris, 30, and Nick Bryant, 25, crossed the line together to claim the coveted first place.

However, most entrants took the event at a more leisurely pace with groups ranging from families to work colleagues running side-by-side around the course.

Margaret Smith, who was one of three generations of the Smith family taking part in the fun run, said it was a fantastic way to be able to raise money.

She said: “We support the children’s hospice and always have done, and it’s good to be able to support them by doing something fun.

“We have done sponsored walks but never a fun run so we will most certainly be walking.”

The largest group came from East-the-Water Primary School, which gathered 15 staff and students for the event.

Katrina Brock, a teaching assistant at the school, said: “All we did was say that we were going to do it and there were so many people who were up for it.

“We even got one of our pupils to come and join us.”

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