Thousands of Santas raise money for charity in biggest festive 5k run

Thousands of runners dressed in santa suits get ready to begin a 5K run at Liverpool's Pier Head Credit: BTR Liverpool

More than 5,000 runners have pulled on their festive attire to take part in the UK's biggest festive 5K fun run.

The Liverpool Santa Dash is billed as the biggest and longest established Santa run in the UK, receiving a Guinness World Record for the biggest Santa Gathering in 2005.

The 5k run saw thousands, dressed in both red and blue santa outfits, run through the city centre raising money for charity.

Thousands of runners dressed in both red and blue suits took part in the famous Liverpool Santa Dash Credit: BTR Liverpool

This year the run was started by eight-month-old Alder Hey patient Frankie and his family from Wirral.

The youngster is part of the hospital's pyjama campaign which is raising funds towards the specialist hospital's new £3million Surgical Neonatal Appeal to help develop a state-of-the-art unit for newborn babies and their families.

The unique unit will be the first of its kind in the UK.

The runners then made their way through Liverpool city centre, ending at the Town Hall where they were greeted with fake snow. Credit: BTR Liverpool

Meanwhile in Manchester, another Santa Dash took part in Sale, this time raising money and awareness of suicide prevention.

The event held at Sale Water Park and organised by the running club MileShyClub, was raising money for the Warrington-based charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide in support of 3 Dads Walking.

One of the Dads, Mike, who lives locally in Sale also took part and spoke to runners before the event.

Video Credit:Lauren Barclay

The Santa Dash is an annual fancy dress run organised by the club, which aims to encourage beginners into the sport of running, and promoting the positive link with mental health.

Mike Palmer said: "A huge thankyou to the MileShyClub today for putting on the Santa Dash in support of 3 Dads Walking and Papyrus Prevention of Young Suicide.

"Spreading festive cheer also allowed us to spread awareness around suicide, the biggest killer of under 35s in the UK.

"People of all ages attended and gave incredible support. The funds and awareness raised will save lives."

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