Christmas comes early in Clitheroe in preparation for Santa Dash

Organisors, volunteers and children launch the East Lancashire Hospice 2012 Santa Dash fund-raiser in Clitheroe. 'Photo Ben Parsons
Organisors, volunteers and children launch the East Lancashire Hospice 2012 Santa Dash fund-raiser in Clitheroe. 'Photo Ben Parsons
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CHRISTMAS came early when a bunch of Santas signed up for Clitheroe’s second big Santa Dash.

They were greeted by children dressed as three kings, angels, shepherds and animals from the stable – just like the festive season, only 12 weeks too soon!

Fund-raisers for the East Lancashire Hospice were having fun at Clitheroe Castle launching this year’s Santa Dash, hoping to recruit at least 500 red-suited runners to beat last year’s field of 358 and top the cash total of £8,000.

Clitheroe Chamber of Trade is supporting the dash and aims to help make it a big attraction in the pre-Christmas shopping run-up.

“We’ve launched it in September to give people plenty of time to sign up and get themselves sponsored,” said hospice fund-raiser Denise Gee.

“It will be much bigger than last year. We want it to be a major event, not just for Clitheroe and Ribble Valley but the whole of East Lancashire.

“It’s going to be great for all the family, from babies in prams to great-grandmas.”

The dash will start straight after the local churches’ annual procession from St Mary’s and the blessing of the crib service at the Castle gates on the evening of Friday, December 7th.

Would-be Santas can run, jog or just walk the 1km course round the town centre.

The cost is £10 for adults, £5 for the under 12s and £25 for a family ticket, with proceeds going to the hospice.

All entrants over 12 will get a Santa suit to keep, and the under 12s will get reindeer antlers.

l To register for the dash, call the hospice on 01254 733411, email denise.gee@eastlancspct.nhs.uk or, alternatively, register online at {http:// www.eastlancshospice.org.uk|www.eastlancshospice.org.uk}