SPRINTING Santa’s helpers are calling on runners to sign up for an annual festive fundraiser.

The St Teresa’s Hospice Santa Run returns this year after taking place virtually in 2020. It starts and ends at West Park Academy, in Darlington, and runners of all abilities are invited to take part.

About 250 runners are expected to take part in the nearly 5km Santa Sprint, the 2km Reindeer Run or Elf Amble, each raising at least £15 for the hospice.

This year's event takes place next Sunday, December 5.

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Hospice marketing manager John Paul Stabler said: “ This year we’re back in person with the Santa suits and hats and medals for the runners. We have some runners who come back year after year, including family groups, and it’s great to see them, as well as welcoming new participants to the Santa Run. We also know that some people will do their own sponsored run for us and some set up Just Giving pages as well. We’re grateful to everyone for their support.”

Darlington’s MP, the Mayor of Darlington and representatives of Rotary, which sponsors the event and the Santa suits and provides volunteer marshals, are expected to be on the start line to get the event underway.

Each of the runners will get a Santa suit to run in, a medal and, for those taking part in person, a mince pie at the finish line. There will be stalls and the chance to buy images from the official run photographer.

It costs £15 per adult to enter and £10 for children aged five-15; under-fives are free but must be accompanied. Entries close at 8pm on Sunday, November 28. To enter, visit www.darlingtonhospice.org.uk/santa-run-2021.

The run is on Sunday, December 5, starting at 10am.

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