THE ANNUAL Santa Fun Run took over Woking Park on Sunday to raise money for Woking & Sam Beare Hospices.

In what is now its ninth year, the sea of 230 Santas of all ages set the pace following registration and a warm-up in the Leisure Centre before setting off on the 1km circuit. The run, which has taken place for the last three years in the town’s park, has proved so popular that this year it is also being held in Walton for the first time.

Sunday’s event started at 10.30am, with registration and Santa suit collection from 9am in the main hall of Woking Leisure Centre. The course took participants on a loop of the park but they had the option to do as many laps as they wished between 10.30am and 12.30pm – the longest run was believed to have been 15 laps.

Rachelle Barnett, Community & Events Fundraising Manager at Woking & Sam Beare Hospices, said: “The Santa Fun Run is a great event for everyone and we were delighted to welcome lots of local families – and their dogs! We had a wonderful morning at Woking Leisure Centre and Woking Park with 230 ‘Santas’ of all ages taking on the challenge.”

“We are still counting funds raised with more sponsorship to come in, but we’d like to thank our ‘Santas’ for contributing so wonderfully to our charity to enable us to continue to provide free end-of-life care across North West Surrey. Events like the Santa Fun Run make a vital difference to the 2,000 people we help each year, and their families and carers,” said Rachelle.

Anyone inspired by the photos from the Woking event can take part in the Hospice’s Walton Santa Fun Run on Sunday (8 December). Participants can register from 9am at the Xcel Sports Hub in Walton-on-Thames or register online at

For the full story and two page picture feature, get the 5 December edition of the News & Mail