Ho, ho, hurry, Santa's on the run again

The Oxford Times: The runners spread out across Pingle Field The runners spread out across Pingle Field

THERE was plenty of ho-ho-huffing and puffing when hundreds of Father Christmases took part in Bicester’s most successful Santa Fun Run.

Yesterday’s event in Pingle Field was sold out for the first time in its six-year history as 300 runners donned Santa suits to raise cash for the Medical Detection Dogs charity.

The race, organised by Bicester Town Council to support charities chosen by the mayor, could now be expanded to accommodate 500 people next year.

The three-mile course took parents with buggies and regular runners through the town via Chapel Street, Market Square, Manorsfield Road, Queens Avenue and King’s End.

First home was Bicester picture framer Richard Gould, 42, who clocked his time at 14min 50secs. He said: “It was lovely coming through the town. There was excellent support. They were cheering and really into it.”

Just over a minute behind was son and Cooper School pupil Tom, 14, who said: “It was great and very festive.”

Eight-year-old Georgia Usher from Chesterton managed to beat mum Sam, 41, to take eighth place and be the first female over the finishing line.

Medical Detection Dogs trains dogs to use smell to detect hard-to-diagnose cancers and to help people with diabetes avoid hypoglycemic episodes when blood sugar levels fall.

Type 1 diabetes sufferer and current town mayor Melanie Magee said: “It is something I am really passionate about.”

The council provided the Santa suits and free bacon butties for entrants.

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