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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 December 2005, 14:10 GMT
Racing Santas go for yo-yo record
Santas at the race starting line
Thousands of santas preparing for the off
Four thousand six hundred Father Christmases donned red and white robes on Sunday for the fifth annual Santa Run through Newtown in Powys.

The 4.5-mile race through the town was officially started by Welsh paralympian Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson

Newtown holds the world record for the world's biggest Santa gathering.

This year the run's organisers are hoping it will have broken another world record - for the number of Santas yo-yoing at the same time.

The annual Santa run is organised community transport charity Newtown & District Dial A Ride.

Last December, a record-breaking 4,260 Santas took part in the race. They raised 175,000, and funds are still being collected.

'Last legs'

Santas from every corner of the UK took part, along with competitors from further afield including Italy, France and Canada.

The Santa Run started in 2001 with 501 Father Christmases tackling it.

Jo Corfield, one of the race's organisers, said; "The Santa Run started just because were on our last legs and wanted one event that would be a good fund-raiser and keep us going.

"Since it's grown into the biggest event that Newtown hosts and we estimate it brings 150,000 into the local economy in just one day."

As well as the yo-yoing world record attempt there was also a festival of live bands to entertain the crowds..

The first santa across the finishing line on Sunday was Darren Hisscock from Aberdare in the Cynon Valley who completed the course in about 18 minutes.

Blue Peter presenter Gethin Jones also ran the course and finished it in around half an hour.

Outfits

Last year's race was overshadowed by a street brawl and five men were later fined for public order offences.

None of the men fined took part in the race, but police said some troublemakers were dressed in Santa outfits.

This year Dyfed-Powys Police have been working to avoid a repeat of any trouble.

Superintendent Dean Richards said: "The alcohol misuse campaign is running throughout the division of Powys currently, and the police have been working closely with organisers of the Santa Run ".


SEE ALSO:
Dame Tanni will start Santa Run
29 Sep 05 |  Mid Wales
Runners aim to break Santa record
05 Dec 04 |  Mid Wales
Police to meet Santa run chiefs
19 Apr 05 |  Mid Wales
Santas' triple world record bid
08 Dec 03 |  Mid Wales
Santas accused of street brawl
10 Dec 04 |  Mid Wales


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