December 3, 2006
The Liverpool Santa Dash may be a fun run where racing is discouraged and times and winners are not recorded, but it does still have one competitive element: every year the race attempts to break the world record for the largest gathering of Santas.
Last year’s race set the record of 3,921 Santas but this year, with more than 5,000 entries taken before the race, organisers were hoping to top that figure.
It isn’t just Liverpool that’s interested in the world record though. Linda Smith, the organiser of the Great Santa Run in Las Vegas, travelled from the USA to start the race – and check out the competition.
She’s hopeful that the Las Vegas Run will snatch the world record from Liverpool but Alan Rothwell, the Liverpool organiser, believes 2007 has raised the bar again: “The procedure for the Guinness Book of World Records means we won’t have the result confirmed until April, but unofficially we have beaten the record by around 900 Santas.”
As well as providing the perfect excuse to enter into the Christmas spirit, the race was a great introduction to running in fancy dress. The costume might not have been made of wicking technical fabric but it did provide an extra layer of protection against the windy December conditions. One runner even embellished the costume by adding a chimney and ladder.
The organisation at the start and finish lines disappointed some runners but the route, which went past many of Liverpool’s landmark buildings and offered great views of the Mersey, proved popular and the spirit of the day prevailed to ensure everyone had a great time.
The fund-raising effort was also a huge success with around £100,000 generated for the Sunrise Fund (organised by the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo).