If you saw a herd of puffing santa’s running past you in the Launceston CBD today, and wondered if these people were a week late for the Christmas pagent, you obviously didn’t know about the first Launceston Santa Run. What makes this event refreshing is the focus on fun and participation rather than who was first across the line. No timing, who cares!
The Santa Run is a fun run/walk where participants don Santa suits and hats and complete one of three courses, competitors 5km, participants 4km and children’s 2km. This type of event has been operational throughout the world for nearly seven years and has gained Guiness Book of Records recognition in the form of the “Largest gathering of Santas in the one spot at the one time” which is currently held by Dublin (Ire) to the tune of 13,500 Santas. Santa Runs in great numbers are found in the USA, UK, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Rome, Germany, New Zealand and now Tasmania & Australia.
What’s great about the Tasmanian races is that they are run and organised by Ulverstone youth group called Enormity with the help of Devonport Mayor Steve Martin. A partnership was struck with the Liverpool & Las Vegas runs creating the “World Santa Alliance” with Enormity, Ulverstone Tasmania. In July 09, members from Enormity attended the Liverpool Santa Dash launch taking with them a hand carved 18″ Huon Pine Santa on top of a Tasmanian Blackwood base and housed in a Tasmanian Myrtle display box, aptly SAN-TAS. This was presented and accepted as the World Champion’s trophy.
It’s not too late for you to be part of this worldwide phenomenon, with two more Santa Runs happening across the state in the next two weeks:
Ulverstone – Sunday 11th December
Kingston – Sunday 18th December
Entries are still open, with the recommendation to get in early so you can get your santa suit and make it race worthy with a bit of extra ventilation.