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Hundreds don Santa suits and cut a dash for Hospice of St Francis

Hospice of St Francis Santa Dash, December 2013. They're off and running from the Riverside Shopping Centre, Hemel Hempstead

Hospice of St Francis Santa Dash, December 2013. They're off and running from the Riverside Shopping Centre, Hemel Hempstead

Santas on two and four legs cut a festive dash through Hemel Hempstead’s town centre on Sunday to raise hospice funds.

Mums, dads, children, grandparents, friends, work colleagues and dogs turned out in their hundreds to kick start their Christmas with the sixth annual Santa Dash hosted by the Hospice of St Francis.

BBC’s Outnumbered star Claire Skinner returned to her home town to run the 2.5 mile course in just under 40 minutes with her dog Fred.

She said: “We loved every minute of it. The atmosphere, the laughter, the camaraderie and the positivity were just extraordinary.”

Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning sounded the klaxon at 10am to set more than 300 Santas on their way from the Riverside Shopping Centre.

First over the finish line was 14-year-old Cavendish School pupil and Watford Athletics Club runner Thomas Rayner in a time of just under 16 minutes.

Chris Ward, 36, from Boxmoor, came second in 16 mins 36 secs, while third place, in a time 17 mins, went to 18–year-old Ross Taylor, a member of the Red Lion team, who sponsored this year’s event.

Organisers are still totting up the total to find out much the dash has raised.

To watch a video of the event click here

 

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