THE impressive grounds of Mercedes-Benz World were brimming with a red sea of Santas on Sunday as hundreds took part in the Woking & Sam Beare Hospices’ festive Fun Run.
Participants chose to walk, run or jog the 2.5km or 5km courses, and extra festivities included seasonal songs from Herd of Sax and the chance to meet Father Christmas – not in his grotto but by his red Mercedes car. During the Santa Fun Run, motorists were in good spirits, with many beeping their horns in support.
Toni Millard from West Byfleet was one of the red brigade taking part with her family and friends. She said: “I have been living with cancer for more than four years and was hoping to be well enough to take part. It was an amazing day. Friends and family turned up to walk with me. And, to be able join in with my three children, Faye, Jack and Sarah, was really special.
“The hospice have provided me with care and support, and also counselling for my family during this difficult time.”
Toni’s son Jack, 14, finished the 2.5km course first, crossing the line with friends Joshua Coppellotti and Theo Canham.
Many others took part with their own personal story. Jo, Carolyn and Steve Adamson from Woking joined the run with family in memory of their dad who was cared for by the hospices last month. He was so well looked after in his final few weeks, they wanted to say thank you.
Fundraising manager Sue Spencer said: “This event has brought all ages together in support of our hospices. With more than 400 Santas, each year gets bigger and better. Thank you to everyone who took part and all the volunteers who helped and supported the runners.”
More than £10,000 was pledged on the day which, added to online fundraising and gift aid, should continue to climb and make a difference to the hospices over the Christmas period.