Christmas fun is on its way to park

On their marks are Paul Massey, left, and Neil Bassett, right, from sponsors Evans Halshaw, with Denise Rowlands and Nick Abbott, from 8070 Events
On their marks are Paul Massey, left, and Neil Bassett, right, from sponsors Evans Halshaw, with Denise Rowlands and Nick Abbott, from 8070 Events

Father Christmas may be swiftly approaching his busiest time of year, but he will still have time to pay a visit to a Wigan park.

Mesnes Park is set to be filled with hundreds of people wearing his familiar red suit as they get into the festive spirit.

For as the clocks go back and the calendar turns to November, organisers are now taking entries for this year’s Wigan Christmas Dash.

The fourth annual fun run is being held at 11am on Sunday, December 11.

People of all ages are being encouraged to pull on their running shoes - and a Father Christmas suit - to run or walk 5km. There will be Christmas music to spur runners on as they tackle the course.

And participants will receive a festive treat when they cross the finishing line of a turkey and stuffing sandwich, mince pie and mulled wine or water.

Runners in their Father Christmas suits during last years Christmas Dash

Runners in their Father Christmas suits during last years Christmas Dash

Organiser Nick Abbott, from Orrell-based 8070 Events, said: “We do it for some festive fun. Wigan had never had a Santa dash.

“In Liverpool they close the roads and we looked at doing that, but because of Christmas shopping, it would have caused chaos.”

Instead, the dash will cover five 1km laps along the perimeter of the park, starting at the Sir Francis Sharp Powell statue and taking in the scenery of the park.

More than 150 people have previously taken part and it is hoped that this year’s fun run will be even bigger than before, with 300 people expected to sign up.

We do it for some festive fun.

Nick Abbott

As well as getting into the festive spirit and burning off a few calories before the Christmas Day turkey, people can take part to raise money for charity if they 
wish.

Although it is not a race and there will not be chip timing, every participant will receive a finishing time.

Entries for the fun run costs £20 for adults (aged 17 and over), £12 for children aged 10 to 16 and £5 for under 10s.

The fee includes festive refreshments in the pavilion after the run and the Father Christmas suit, which can be collected in advance from a stall at the Grand Arcade or on the day.

If places are still available, people will be able to enter on the day for £25 but are warned there may not be any Father Christmas suits left.

Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

To take part in the fun run, go to www.christmasdash.co.uk.