Fundraising Calne Santa swarm races through town’s market

This Is Wiltshire: Santas get set for their Scamper from Calne Leisure Centre. Right, Barbara Thomas and Patch  (tk713) By thomas kelsey Santas get set for their Scamper from Calne Leisure Centre. Right, Barbara Thomas and Patch (tk713) By thomas kelsey

More than 100 runners dressed as Santa took to the streets of Calne for a 5km fun run last weekend, surprising festive shoppers and raising £400 for charity.

The 119 runners wore red jackets and trousers, as well as Santa hats and white beards, for the race last Thursday, organised by Calne Leisure Centre.

Funds raised went to charity Hannah’s Trees, set up in memory of former Sheldon School pupil Hannah Owen, who died of cancer aged 13 in December 2009.

The charity, which is run by Hannah’s mum Chris Lamb, of Bentley Lane, Calne, aims to bring festive cheer to children in hospices by delivering Christmas trees and decorations.

Calne Mayor Mercy Baggs started the race at 11am and the runners sped down London Road, heading through Church Street straight into the town centre.

It was so popular that every space to run had been taken by November 10.

Gym manager Luke Shipway, who started the Santa scamper in Calne last year, said it surprised several shoppers at the town’s farmers’ market.

He said: “It was a sea of red and white beards. We raised £400 for Hannah’s Trees. That’s more than last year and I’m going to have a look and see how we can increase it for next year. We tried to create a party atmosphere afterwards so people could stay for mince pies and mulled wine.”

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Bookings for next year’s race start in October.

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