Bunwell santas take to the road

Hundreds of enthusiastic Santas did keep fit exercises yesterday before setting off on a charity fundraiser that has become a smash hit. Launched last year, by village running club the Bunwell Strollers, the festive fun run has quickly grown in stature attracting people of all ages from across East Anglia and beyond.

Hundreds of enthusiastic Santas did keep fit exercises on Sunday before setting off on a charity fundraiser that has become a smash hit.

Launched last year, by village running club the Bunwell Strollers, the festive fun run has quickly grown in stature attracting people of all ages from across East Anglia and beyond.

The oldest contestant, Stanley Pattison, 85, had decorated his walking stick with tinsel and was given a round of applause as he was unveiled as the event's official Father Christmas.

He planned to go at a leisurely pace along the shorter 3km course. “I can't run now, I walk because of my knees,” he explained.


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Alison O'Brien, who opted for the 5km run, had brought her young family to cheer her on.

“I haven't done this event before. I am running it for the Bramble Bears of Ashwellthorpe, and I will probably get about £60 in sponsorship,” she said.

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Organiser Nigel Seaward led the warm up exercises outside the village, accompanied by rousing Christmas pop songs played over loudspeakers.

He said: “It's wonderful yet again to see so many people coming to Bunwell and we are delighted with the turnout. Last year we had 273 and this time there are about 350. We have had people register from London, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex and we have obviously got lots of people from the local community.

“We are raising money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, fifty per cent goes to them and the other 50 per cent goes to local charities. Last year we raised £1,500, and it will probably be in the same region or a bit more.”

Mr Seaward said the Santa Fun Run brings people together and is great for community spirit.

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