Hundreds of Santas to run round park for charity

Organisers and sponsors of the Wigan Christmas Dash
Organisers and sponsors of the Wigan Christmas Dash

Father Christmas will take a break from his sleigh and run under his own steam as a popular festive event returns to a Wigan park.

Entries are now being taken for the fifth annual Wigan Christmas Dash, which is expected to be even bigger than before.

It will see hundreds of people wearing the famous red suit - along with their running shoes - to run or walk 5km around Mesnes Park.

The event is being held at 11am on Sunday, December 10 and will certainly have a festive feel.

Christmas music will be played to spur on the runners as they tackle the course.

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

The event will raise money for Three Wishes, the charity of Wrightington, Wigan And Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the borough’s hospitals.

Around 300 people took part last year and organisers hope there will be 500 entries this time, both first-timers and previous participants.

They are encouraging people to sign up as they make their plans for the festive season.

Organiser Nick Abbott, from Orrell-based 8070 Events, said: “It’s a great, fun day in Mesnes Park raising money for Three Wishes.

“People can also raise money for their own charity if they prefer.

“There will be Christmas music all the way round and they will be able to enjoy turkey sandwiches, mulled wine and mince pies.

“It’s a nice way to start Christmas.”

The dash starts at the Sir Francis Sharp Powell statue and follows five laps of a 1km route around the park.

It is open to people of all ages and there is no chip timing, as it is a fun run.

Entry costs £20 for adults (aged 17 and over), £15 for children aged 10 to 16 and £8 for under 10s. People can enter on the day for an extra £5.

The fee includes a Father Christmas suit and details of how to collect it will be provided before the event.

To take part in the fun run, go to the website to register.