Better watch out - Santa Clauses come to town

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AN ENDLESS red and white horde stretched round Colchester’s Castle Park for this year’s charity Santa Run.

Hundreds of fundraisers donned jolly attire to take part in the third annual event in aid of the Colchester Hospitals Charity (CoHoC).

Most of the festive throng ran, jogged or walked three kilometres around the park, while some Santas chose to take on the 5km course, starting and finishing near the bandstand yesterday morning.

Organisers are hoping to at least match last year’s fundraising total of more than £15,000, which will again be used to support patients in the new radiotherapy centre at Colchester General Hospital.

Caroline Bates, fundraising manager of CoHoC, the charitable fund of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Santa Run went really well, with around 500 people taking part, from tiny babies to people in their 70s.

“There was a really nice atmosphere and the weather was brilliant.

“We won’t know the full amount raised for a couple of weeks but we’re hoping to equal last year’s total for the new cancer centre.”

The £25million radiotherapy centre currently under construction is scheduled to treat its first patients in early 2014.

The Santa Run has grown in popularity since it began in 2010, when 115 runners raised £6,000 to buy a vital signs monitor for the children’s unit at Colchester General Hospital.

This year a group warm-up was led before the run by Colchester Boot Camps, while Colchester Round Table brought the Christmas sleigh along and played festive songs.

Anyone wanting more information about raising money for CoHoC can call Caroline Bates on 01206 745282 or e-mail fundraising@colchesterhospital.nhs.uk

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