Santas stampede for a good cause

by Andy Bryenton

There are few sights more festive than the jolly old visage of Father Christmas — but how about a horde of rosy-cheeked, red-suited Santas running through the streets?

That’s the sight which will greet visitors to Hagley Park in Christchurch this December 5, as a veritable stampede of festive doppelgangers beat the feet for a good cause.

Santa’s helpers are often found in shopping malls or rattling a charity bucket on street corners, but for this, even the bearded, pom-pom-hatted Kris Kringles will tackle a two to three-kilometre running course, sponsored by their mates.

All the money raised is going to the Graeme Dingle Foundation, a charitable organisation dedicated to helping young Kiwis build self-confidence and skills for a better life. Each adult runner who signs up to participate will receive their very own Santa costume, though other Christmas characters have been seen in previous years, with homemade gingerbread men, snowmen, elves, reindeer and Christmas fairies all making the run.

For those keen to take part in a big-hearted event to help kids this festive season, you couldn’t wish for better. Visit to get involved, and be ready at Hagley Park from 5pm on December 5 — but start planning now if you want to make a big splash with you and your mates in holiday attire!