Entries have opened this week for Weston’s Christmas Cracker 10k race – an event which has raised more than £70,000 for Weston Hospicecare in its 32-year history.

Weston Athletic Club (WAC) is now inviting entries for a fun event which typically sees around 2,500 fancy dress-clad runners hitting the sand each December.

Runners dressed as penguins, reindeers, snowmen and Santa fill the beach for a route which starts and ends near the Grand Pier via a route which takes them through Uphill and past the hospice.

WAC organisers have used the event to support the hospice for the past 17 years and will be extending that support into this year’s race on 8 December too.

Race director Malcolm Gammon said: “Supporting the hospice is a big part of what makes the race so special, and this year we are pleased to be working with the charity again as they celebrate their 30th year.”

And hospice challenge manager Simon Angear said: “The Christmas Cracker is a hugely fun event which is keenly anticipated by the Weston Hospicecare team, whether we are helping to marshal the runners, lacing up our running shoes and getting involved, or simply heading to the seafront to

support all of those taking part.

“We are once again indebted to the wonderful Weston Athletic Club for using this event to support the hospice, and we are excited to be working with organisers to develop a new Cracker collaboration between the club and the hospice – so watch this space!”

As well as a technical race T-shirt, a mince pie, and free digital race photo downloads, for the first time this year all finishers will also receive a medal as they cross the line.

Malcolm added: “We are always looking at ways we can make the next race better than the last, and we know that many runners prefer a medal to a T-shirt at the end of a race, so we thought we’d do both. I think you would struggle to find such a large 10k that can do this for £20 or less.”

Entries are already being snapped up, with 150 runners registering within the first few days.

An earlybird rate of £15 for club runners or £18 for non-affiliated participants is available until the end of July at www.westonac.co.uk/christmascracker.

However, if the 10k distance seems a little daunting for fledgling runners, WAC also offers a training programme for beginners.

The sessions run every Monday and Saturday from late September until race day, where – for £30, every penny of which is donated to the hospice – runners can get up to speed under the expert guidance of WAC coaches.

To find out more about this training programme or register your interest, contact Jim Wotton on 01934 814 208 or email jim.wotton@westonac.co.uk.

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