There were fake beards and fake snow in abundance at Dinton Pastures Country Park on Saturday (14 December). Hundreds of runners dressed for the part to participate in the annual Barnes Fitness promoted Dinton Santa Dash.
The recent changeable weather switched to springlike sunshine just in time to keep those all important bright red suits pristine. Many competitors (and quite a few marshals) could not resist the wintry atmosphere created by the snow blower at the start.
Dinton Pastures Country Park is an oasis of woodland, meadow and lakes in the parish of St Nicholas Hurst, near Wokingham. The park boasts an award-winning play park and the popular Dragonfly Café.
The route for the 5K Dinton Santa Dash starts and finishes outside the amazing playground and takes in three lakes: Black Swan, Sandford and White Swan. The 2K Mini-Dash is a scaled down, single loop version of the 5K course, with views of Black Swan and White Swan lakes.
After a frolic in the 'snow' it is time for the assembled Santas of all ages to go through their pre-delivery routines. An hilarious video clip of the warm up is available here.
Chip timing is not a feature of this event but husband and wife organisers Ellie and Ian Gosling provide a finish line clock for those Santas who wished to note their own times. The cost saving was passed to event charity Daisy's Dream
and helped to raise £2,100 towards their aims to support children and their families who have been affected by the life-threatening illness or bereavement of someone close to them.
We are unable to bring you the details of the fastest Santas at Dinton Pastures but rest assured none will have been as swift as the man himself. Mathematicians have calculated his sleigh has to travel at 5,083,000mph to deliver his presents to an average 2.67 children in 75 million homes in 24 hours!
Barnes Fitness are very active race promoters in the area and future events are listed on their website here.