LIVERPOOL FC legends including Phil Thompson and Alan Kennedy, as well as the club itself, are getting behind this year’s RunLiverpool Santa Dash which organisers hope will see the city break a world record.
The dash this year is being run in partnership with ITV Text Santa and as well as aiming for the record Liverpool wants to take the Santa Challenge Title, won last year by Las Vegas.
To beat the Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Santa Gathering’ there will need to be more than 13,000 Santas at the event on December 2. The 5k ‘festive fun run’ has been going since 2004 and back in 2005 secured the world record just 3,921. Last year’s run attracted an impressive 7,411 but that total was some distance short of the record. The Liverpool event will go head to head with events in Tasmania, Las Vegas, Texas and Osaka. Last year Las Vegas took the World Santa Challenge with 8,200 turning out in costume.
By partnering with ITV Text Santa this year’s race will be supporting six national charities including Anthony Nolan, Together for Short Lives, Whizz Kids, Age UK, Marie Curie and Carers UK. Those who enter the Dash will be encouraged to focus their fundraising efforts for Text Santa where 100% of the money raised will go to these six charities.
Phil Thompson is serving as patron and although he won’t be running in the race this time Alan Kennedy is and he’ll be joined by boxer David Price, Olympians Steve Parry and Natasha Jonas as well as Steve Rotherham MP and – hopefully – about 13,000 more.
Steve Rotherham said: “The Santa Dash is a great event for Liverpool. I’m conﬁdent we can win the title back from Vegas and break the Guinness World Record.”
The event was launched on Sunday by Coronation Street’s Kym Marsh, who says she feels a there’s a link between her and the city: “I have a strong connection with Liverpool and spent a lot of time there as a child. I went to school there [Elliot Clark] for two years and was part of a children’s entertainment show for four years which was based in Liverpool, so I have lots of friends there and I have family based in Merseyside. Liverpool has a great history especially in the entertainment ﬁeld.
“I jumped at the chance of being involved with Text Santa and the Santa dash. It’s fun and a great way of getting people of all ages involved and raising money for many charities.”
The event is open to runners, joggers and walkers and everyone has to take part in the Santa suit provided, even dogs can take part. There is also a special 1K Mini Dash for under-12s which takes place straight after the main run.
Alan Rothwell, creator of the Santa Dash, said, “This is going to be a great year for the event and hopefully we can get a lot closer to the massive total of 13,000 Dashing Santas and bring the Guinness World Record back to Liverpool.”
Liverpool boxer and Olympic athlete Natasha Jonas said, “Liverpool is a very active city and we have a way of becoming world beaters at whatever we turn our hand to. The amount of support myself and other home grown athletes got during the games was second to none and really overwhelming at times. With so many charities beneﬁting I know the people of the city will come together, as always, and make this a success.”
Natasha continued: “The run is a fun event for the whole family to get involved in regardless of age or ability. I’m honoured to be a part of it and would urge everyone to get involved.” And, she added, “The competitor in me would also like to see us get our record back from Las Vegas as well, let’s do this.”