Participants prepare to start the race - Santa Dash

Hundreds of Santas donned their red suits and beards to take part in the annual Nantwich Santa Dash.

There were two Santa Dash distances – one lap of 2.5 kilometres or two laps of five kilometres – which both followed the same route around the town centre.

The best dressed competition was judged by 1st Choice for Homes, then followed by an energetic warm-up to Christmas music from Jamie – an instructor at Total Fitness, before everyone moved to the start line.

The Nantwich Santa Dash was started by wheelchair racer Andrew Small, former Brine Leas and South Cheshire College student, who scooped a bronze medal in the men’s T33 100m at this year’s Rio 2016 Paralympics.

There were people dressed as Santa Claus, Mrs Claus, reindeer, Christmas puddings, elves, and snowmen.

Participants included Mayor of Nantwich Cllr Andrew Martin and two Nantwich Police officers.

5 kilometre Santa Dash winner Ryan Harper-Griffiths poses with two Nantwich Police officers

Each finisher received a medal, mince pie, chocolate and bottle of water.

First to cross the line in the five kilometre Santa Dash was 14-year-old Ryan Harper-Griffiths, a pupil at The Oaks Academy in Crewe.

He completed the two laps in an impressive 21 minutes.

The event was sponsored by 1st Choice for Homes.

Richmond Village provided the stage, Recycling UK sponsored the event barriers, Chatwins Bakery donated the mince pies, and Sugro donated the chocolate.

Total Fitness instructor Jamie warms up the participants - Santa Dash

The course was marshalled by Bentley Cheshire Rotary Club and Cheshire Cadets.

RedShift Radio promoted and hosted the event.

Connor Cockcroft, from RedShift Radio compered the event on the town square.

He thanked sponsors, volunteers and participants for making it possible.

Proceeds from the Nantwich Santa Dash will go to Hope House, who provide care and support for life-limited children, young people and their families in Cheshire, Shropshire and North & Mid Wales.

2016 is a special year for Hope House as they celebrate their 21st birthday.

They need £6 million a year to run all of their services.

(pics courtesy of Jonathan White)

The start of the Santa Dash

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