On their 10th anniversary, BTR Liverpool’s Santa Dash received the present it deserved in prising back the world title honours from Las Vegas. A staggering 8,500 Santas defied challenging weather conditions to ensure Sunday’s event would be memorable; The city was awash with a sea of red – and 750 blue Santas – for Liverpool’s biggest annual festive spectacle.
The event started at the Pier Head on the city’s world-famous waterfront, under the gaze of the iconic Liver Birds. A 5K route took the Santas through the city centre, before finishing outside Liverpool Town Hall where finishers were greeted by stilt walking characters and snow. The event also featured the biggest ever Mini Dash 1K for youngsters aged 12 and under, with 750 youngsters enjoying their own race from Castle Street shortly after the main 5K Santa Dash had been completed.
The Santas were given a lively send off by Santa himself; Radio City’s Breakfast Show hosts Leanne Campbell and Dave Kelly; Lord Mayor of Liverpool Councillor Erica Kemp; Liverpool Football Club legend Alan Kennedy; and representatives from the five BTR Footsteps Fundraisers charities – Radio City’s Cash For Kids, Claire House Children’s Hospice, Everton in the Community, Jospice, and Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.
With the Vegas event taking part the day before and witnessing a turnout of just less than 8,000 runners, the Mersey faithful knew what was required to triumph in the World Santa Challenge. Recording some 500 more Santas than the Vegas amount, Liverpool managed to regain the title, winning it back for the first time since 2010.
BTR race director Alan Rothwell commented: “It’s been a fantastic 10th anniversary event. All our Santa Dashers really got into the spirit of the day, with some very creative costumes. Seeing the Pier Head and city covered in a sea of Santas is just the most amazing sight.
“It is very fitting that we have regained the World Santa Challenge title on our 10th anniversary. We are absolutely thrilled and we could not do it without the support of our thousands of Santas – they are all what make this day so special. We are now not only the UK’s biggest festive fun run – but now also the world’s. That’s quite a coup! Well done Liverpool, you have done yourselves extremely proud.”
Entries for the 2015 Santa Dash are now open.