Video: Santa Dash for ho-ho-hospice

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On your marks, get set, ho ho ho!

The sun was shining as 115 Santas made their way along the sea front in Filey for the sixth annual St Catherine’s Hospice Santa Dash on Sunday.

Fun runners young and old took part in the 1.5 mile dash dressed up as Father Christmas and herds of running reindeer to raise funds for the hospice.

The St Catherines Hospice Santa Dash at Filey. Smiles to the finish line..Picture Richard Ponter 124957h

The St Catherines Hospice Santa Dash at Filey. Smiles to the finish line..Picture Richard Ponter 124957h

Previously, the popular event has been held in Scarborough. However, due to ongoing maintenance work, the race was staged in Filey for the first time.

Runners warmed up and set off from Country Park following a countdown by the mayor of Filey, Cllr Richard Walker.

They then made their way across the finish line at the Royal Parade cafe as bemused onlookers cheered them on.

Event organiser Louise Gravestock, from St Catherine’s, said: “This is our sixth year and it’s the first year we have held it in Filey. We’ve got 115 Santas and reindeers taking part this year.

The St Catherines Hospice Santa Dash at Filey Country Park.Racing away..Picture Richard Ponter 124957g

The St Catherines Hospice Santa Dash at Filey Country Park.Racing away..Picture Richard Ponter 124957g

“I’ve been delighted with the response we have had from Filey. The town has been very supportive.

“We will certainly consider holding the race here again next year. We are very lucky on the Yorkshire coast as we have got some beautiful places to have these events.

“However, we haven’t completely cut our ties with Scarborough. It’s just nice to throw the event into the wider community as well. We do cover 1,600 sq miles so it’s nice to bring it to Filey.”

She praised the team of volunteers and businesses who help make the race possible, and reserved special praise for all the participants, many of whom were racing in memory of loved ones.

The St Catherines Hospice Santa Dash at Filey Country Park.High kicking fun.Picture Richard Ponter 124957d

The St Catherines Hospice Santa Dash at Filey Country Park.High kicking fun.Picture Richard Ponter 124957d

And of course there are others who just race for fun along with their family. One such runner was 55-year-old Victoria German, from Filey, who lined up with her daughter, Rose, 23.

She said: “It’s the first time we have taken part. We are doing it for the fun of it and to support the charity and help people out.”

The duo’s friend, Sharon Matthews, also from Filey, added: “It’s for a great cause. St Catherine’s is our only local hospice and you never know when or who might need it.

“It’s absolutely great to have it here for a change.”

Cllr Walker, who “sauntered” his way around the circuit dressed as Santa, said the town would be willing to host the event next year.

He said: “It’s ultimately up to St Catherine’s where they hold it but it would be a privilege for Filey to have it here because we have a really good venue, starting here in the Country Park.”

Runners received a round of applause as they passed the finish post, with 12-year-old Kyle Richardson, from Scarborough, taking first place.

He said: “I have run it three times before and I won it this year which is good. I have done it for family and friends who support the hospice because it’s an excellent cause.

“I prefer running it here because it has got a few more hills and slopes and I like a challenge. I am definitely doing it again next year.”