Thousands of dashing Santas took to the streets of Chester last weekend to raise money for two vital city charities.
More than 2,115 participants turned out for another successful Chester Santa Dash, which returned to the city centre for its 13th year on Sunday, December 3.
The annual event, which sees families, adults and children of all ages dress up as Santa, to walk, jog and stroll across Chester, was officially launched this year by Chester resident and former BBC Breakfast Louise Minchin, who cut the ribbon and even took part herself.
Lasting around two hours, the 3.2km route took in all the city's best known landmarks, including the Groves, Grosvenor Park, the Ampitheatre, the Eastgate Clock and the Cathedral, with musical entertainment provided by the Karamba Samba Band, DJ Ian Gibbons and The Chester Male Voice Choir.
Funds raised from the event go to Chester-based Hospice of the Good Shepherd and The Countess Charity, the latter of whom hope enough money will be raised to create an outdoor garden balcony for patients in the Countess Intensive Care Unit, whose recovery would benefit instrumentally from being wheeled outside in the fresh air.
Angie Lopez, Interim Head of Fundraising at The Countess Charity said:
"The event was a great success with lots of happy smiley faces everywhere!
"Both charities particularly would like to thank the Chester Santa Dash sponsors, Medicash, who sponsored this event for a second year.
It was great to have the members of the Medicash team at the finish line, handing out sweets and other goodies," she said.
"A huge thanks also to all that helped make the Santa Dash event a great success, all the excellent marshals and volunteers who gave up their time and those who provided the entertainment. It was a fantastic event!"
Andy Abernethy, Head of Marketing at Medicash said:
“It was great to see over 2000 Santas dashing through the streets of Chester for the annual Chester Santa Dash.
"Despite the weather feeling more like the North Pole, this event has really warmed our hearts, got us into the holiday mood and raised some serious money for two extraordinary charities.
"Well done to all the runners for making this such a successful and enjoyable event!”
All Santas who took part are encouraged to send in their sponsorship as soon as possible, so the charity can announce the final total raised.
Sponsorship can be brought into the fundraising office at the hospital or Hospice or pay into your online sponsor page.