Belfast Telegraph

Santa Claus run: Tens of thousands of runners raise sackfuls of cash for charities

By Sara Neill

Tens of thousands of Santas have taken to the streets around the world - proving that it doesn't have to be Christmas Day for Father Christmas to put a smile on a child's face.

In Belfast yesterday shoppers were stunned by the fun-running figures in red and white as they raised money for the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice.

With beards in full flow and fur-trimmed outfits on display, the Santa Dash took runners along some of Belfast's busiest shopping streets.

There was a similar sight at Stormont a day earlier, as the MS Society encouraged helpers to Dash and Dander up Prince of Wales Avenue.

They were rewarded with a well-earned cup of tea and a festive mince pie at the end of the two-mile route.

In Co Londonderry, the weather outside may have been frightful but it didn't stop charity runners embracing the ocean breeze on Portstewart Strand as the Cystic Fibrosis Trust held a 5km event on Saturday.

Further afield, tradition was cast aside in Poland when crowds of merry Santas drove through Warsaw on motorbike, many with their festive hats resting atop crash helmets. It was South Korea that pulled the cracker when it comes to the event. The Coex Aquarium in Seoul dressed divers in flippers, breathing apparatus and Santa hats. They plunged to the bottom of a giant tank, where children watched the employees swim through sardines.

More than 400 St Nicholases in Tokyo needed a little incentive, and were seen taking off like greyhounds after another sprinter dressed as a Christmas tree.

Christmas in the sun is a dream for some people celebrating the festive season in Northern Ireland's cold climate, but the lack of snow did not stop Australians getting in on the act. They wore their red and white cloaks over shorts and T-shirts to jog along Sydney's Darling Harbour.

Back in the UK, football legend Bryan Robson joined joggers in Manchester when a sea of a different kind of red descended on Old Trafford, and Liverpool celebrated as they came out on top of their friendly rivalry with the Las Vegas Great Santa Run.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph