A jolly, ho ho, bunch of Santas, elves and reindeers could be seen running on Sunday morning for the Mayor’s Santa Run along the riverside.
Joining the runners were dogs and babies either being pushed or carried including the youngest participant Emmeline Kinch at just eight weeks old was running with her Daddy, Russell in a papoose. Mum, Ali said, “We came in a respectable last place in her first race so the only the way is up!”
This year the course started from Leander and runners could choose to run 1K (1 lap) of the course or 4K (4 laps).
There were prizes for the best dressed and fastest runners. The Lamacraft family from Shiplake did really well with Alexander, aged just 12 winning the 4K run and brother Thomas winning the best dressed under 10. Alexander is a member of Tri Henley Triathlon Club. He said, “I’ve been a member of Tri Henley for 3 years and running is my favourite part. I’ve taken part in the Santa Fun Run a few times. The course was fast with good conditions. It was really good to win.” Thomas who wore his elf costume for the first time and after receiving his box of chocolates from the Mayor as his prize with a big smile added, “It feels good to win!”
Amelie Judge from Henley who won the Henley 10K race in October won the 4K women’s race and Olivia Watson was the fastest 1Km Under 10. Amelia said, “I came along with my Mum and Dad today as I thought it would be a nice family thing to do. I’m very happy to win.” Olivia who goes to Rupert House School who regularly competes in the local cross country series said, “I’ve never won a race before, (only come 2nd) so it’s really good to win. I really like running and I’ll share my chocolates with my family.”
The best dressed family were the Walmsley & Irving families who are friends from Henley & Marlow. They said, “We’ve done the race a few times before we do love to dress up.”
The event raised £600 for the Henley Mayor’s charities; Regatta for Disabled, Royal British Legion and Henley Plastic Reduction. Afterwards Henley Mayor, Councillor Sarah Miller said, “What a fantastic festive Santa Fun Run we had on Sunday – it was lovely to see all the families make such an effort with their Christmas costumes. Huge thanks to Rupert House School for sponsoring the Santa Hats, and to the Henley Rotary Club for all their efforts in marshalling. A heartfelt thank you to Amanda McGregor for making cups of hot chocolate for everybody, and to Tesco for supplying the mince pies. And lastly to the amazing Santa Gang; Laurence Plant, Kellie Hinton, Donna Crooke, Ken Arlett, Stefan Gawrysiak and Laurence’s fabulous dad Stephen – without you all I would still be running around panicking. It was a really great morning and I would just like to thank everybody for taking part and raising so much money for the charities and lastly to Henley Royal Regatta for allowing us all to run/walk and jog on your land. Merry Christmas you lovely lot. Xx”