More than 2,000 people completed this year’s 10km Christmas cracker with many running in aid of Weston Hospicecare.
Weston Athletic Club made an incredible donation of £13,800 to the hospice in the wake of the event, and participants who were running in aid of the hospice are set to add to that total.
In what was a wonderful atmosphere, many of the runners opted for fancy dress costumes such as Santa Claus, reindeer, Christmas puddings, Christmas trees, presents, angels, elves and there was even a sighting of a turkey too!
Runners started from the Grand Pier at 11am before advancing along the beach towards Uphill where they turned back along Beach Road before finishing under the pier where they started.
The main race was won by last year’s runner-up Tom Lander with a time of 35 minutes and 16 seconds.
Hospice chief executive Paul Winspear said: “Weston Hospicecare is so very grateful to be the charity of choice for Weston Athletic Club’s annual Christmas Cracker.
“We are over the moon with the funds raised for the hospice this year, funds which are vital to providing care and support to those members of our community who battle with life-limiting illnesses, and to their families and carers. And what a superb event the 40th anniversary was!
“Many of us from the hospice came along to either take part, help with the marshalling, or to cheer the runners along, and we loved the riot of colour, festival spirit, and incredible atmosphere. The fancy dress was brilliant too – it’s the first time we’ve seen a Christmas tree run 10k, and without losing any of his baubles.
“Thank you from all of us at Weston Hospicecare, and we pledge to continue to do all we can to support our local community in 2019 and beyond.”
Weston Athletic Club president Dave Jones presented the hospice with a cheque for £10,000 after the race while the club also generously donated an additional £1,500 from its Mendip Muddle race and a further £2,300 raised during the club’s penguins training programme in the lead-up to the cracker.
Race director Malcolm Gammon said: “I am really pleased with how this year’s event went. The weather turned out fine in the end and it was great to see so many people enjoying the race and entering into the festive spirit. How some of them get round in such elaborate costumes is beyond me.
“I am especially pleased we were able to donate £13,800 to Weston Hospicecare this year and I hope that many thousands more will be raised by our runners through sponsorship support.
“I’d like to thank all of our volunteers who made the event such a success this year. Without them it wouldn’t be possible.”
It costs £4.2million each year to keep the hospice open with only 20% of that figure coming from the NHS meaning fundraising events such as the cracker are crucial to the hospice’s fundraising strategy. Did you, or someone you know, take part in the Christmas cracker this year? See all of our photos from the event by clicking here.