After supporting Dorothy House (our local hospice) when I ran in this year’s London Marathon, I was very keen to take part in their second ‘Santa Dash‘.
It was held on Sunday 2nd December, starting and finishing at Dorothy House. The route wound round some little lanes, down a main road, along the Kennet and Avon canal towpath, then back up the hill for refreshments.
|Attractive ‘One size fits none’ Outfit
First challenge was getting into the enormous costume – how to tie the trousers tight enough so they wouldn’t fall down vs. cutting off the blood supply to my legs. Boy do those beards itch as well!
Many photos were taken, a quick mass warm-up in the car park, then we were off!
It was a beautiful morning, the sun was shining, and we all soon warmed up inside our suits. Down the first few lanes there was a regular littering of Santa belts as they broke and fell off. Charging single file down the main road we had a few ‘toots’ from passing motorists, and then it was onto the towpath.
I so wish I’d had my camera with me here. The path was flat and the running was easy, apart from passing the odd bemused dog walker. The water was still, the trees arched over above us, and a thin red line of running Santas stretched away into the distance.
Crossing the aquaduct (twice) was exciting and meant we could shout encouragement (or abuse!) to runners just ahead of us, and then just behind us as we crossed the River Avon. I had to give in and take my hat off here, as my head had reached 1000C
After that, was THE HILL. This was muddy and slippery, as well as steep. What was worse was that we could see it coming, and the straggling line of Santas struggling up it.
I confess – I walked up the hill. Everyone did. I have to confess as not only is it good for the soul but there is photographic evidence. That’s me, at the back of the group, hat in hand.
As the hill levelled out I started running again. Not far now! I even managed to put my hat back on just before crossing the finishing line.
It was lovely to be offered a cup of tea and a Danish pastry at the end, and even a bag of chocolate coins (which my children devoured).
So really well done Dorothy House for such a great event (and thank you for most of the photographs as well!) I hope you raised lots of money to carry on your amazing work.