2020 Santa’s Fun Run – will be “virtually real”

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The Rotary Clubs of Marlow have announced that the website is now open to runners taking part in the 16th Annual Marlow Santa’s Fun Run. However for obvious reasons this year it will be completely different, and a “Virtually Real” event is planned for the weekend of 5th and 6th of December.

This year runners decide where they run – as individuals or as teams. The organisers ask that they run (or walk) ideally around 5 kilometres – and they set their own routes. The organisers have 3000 Santa suits in stock and 3000 official Runner Cards printed. And to reflect changing circumstances they have made some very important changes:

  • For the first time all children aged 5 and over will receive a Santa Suit (suit availability subject to demand)
  • Individuals and teams are invited to create their own Virgin Giving sponsorship pages
  • This year £5,000 in fun “prizes” has been made available (NOTE – the prizes are additional awards to charities – charities that runners choose)
  • Prices have been reduced (just a little – it all goes to charity!)
  • And as with any virtual event this can be done anywhere. In Marlow, in South Bucks, in the UK, or even in Australia.

Sir Steve Redgrave has been the Race Starter over many of the last 15 years – but of course this will be impossible for a “Virtually Real” event! He comments: “Over the years the Redgrave family have been very involved in the annual Marlow Santa’s Fun Run. Indeed I have had the privilege of starting the event on many occasions. In a year when so many participation events have been cancelled it is therefore a delight to see that this iconic event is being held – albeit in a very different format. This is a fantastic opportunity to see a community event take off over the weekend of December 5th and 6th – and I think it should receive maximum support from all quarters. My very best wishes to the local Rotary Clubs in trying to raise £50,000 for local charities!”

Local celeb chef Tom Kerridge adds his support, saying: “2020 has been a great challenge for all – and so many events have had to be cancelled. However the Rotary Clubs of Marlow are to be congratulated on ensuring that at least one great community event can be staged – even if it is in a “Virtually Real” format. The 2020 Marlow Santa’s Fun Run deserves everyone’s support – and with so many other charity events cancelled this is a real opportunity for local fund raising on a grand scale. Hopefully Marlow, and the South Bucks area, will still see a sea of red Santas over the weekend of 5th and 6th December – even if a little more spaced out than usual”.

 John Prout – Chair of the Santa’s Fun Run organising committee – says This year is just so different – but despite all of the uncertainty the main thing is that the Marlow Santa’s Fun Run will take place. Last year we raised around £50,000 for mainly local charities – and they need our help more than ever.   The Rotary Clubs of Marlow have decided that we will not let them down – but we really do need help from anyone who has a connection to Marlow in order to do this”.

John carries on to say: “Over the weekend of 5th and 6th December we want the parks and streets of Marlow and South Bucks filled with socially distanced Santas. We want to create a fantastic fun weekend that includes teams from local businesses, schools, churches, charities, scout and guide groups, families, neighbourhoods, clubs – all running for a great cause”.

The website is now open, and fully explains all of the changes made. Entries can now be made at: www.santasfunrun.org

Sponsors support running costs and fundraising

John added: “The Rotary Clubs of Marlow are making a big leap of faith here. But the fantastic support of our sponsors has really helped. Lead sponsor the Shanly Foundation has repeated it’s support – despite there being no traditional run. And Allergan (now part of the AbbVie group) have continued the support first seen in 2019. As a result we have been able to commit to the significant set up costs – and of course allocate £5000 in “prize” awards to nominated charities. We thank our sponsors so much”.

This year the lead charities are:

As usual a key focus is to encourage more runners – both individuals and teams – to organise sponsorship around their own favourite charities. The website allows this to be done very easily with links to Virgin Giving – supported by clear instructions to those who have never previously taken the plunge.

More info

For more information , and to enter, visit: www.santasfunrun.org 

Article author: Paul Merchant

About the author: Founded MyMarlow.co.uk in its original version back in 2000 - yes the internet DID exist back then. Brought up in Marlow, went to school here, now has children at the same schools. Quite clearly loves all things Marlow - hence spending over 2 decades doing this!

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