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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 June, 2004, 06:37 GMT 07:37 UK
Record Santa plans hot up
Santas eating ice cream
Santas out of season look forward to another record attempt
While the rest of Wales swelters in the June sunshine, a group in Powys is already dreaming of Santa in a winter wonderland.

There are only six months to go until this year's Santa Run in Newtown, an event that attracted a Guinness World Record-breaking 3,200 runners last year.

Organisers have been told the record will make it into next year's book, but that is likely to be out-of-date by 2005 as 5,000 are expected to don a Santa suit and race round the town this December.

The 2003 run raised 80,000 for 200 charities, but 100,000 is expected to be collected this year as the competition continues to go from strength to strength.

Newtown and District Dial-a-Ride, which organises the event, said although it was the summer, plans for the race three weeks before Christmas were already on track.

We have 1,000 competitors in the children's race and overall we'll have 5,000 runners which will smash the existing record.
Dougie Bancroft, Newtown and District Dial-a-Ride

"We've got a few new things planned that will remain a secret until the day of the event," said Dial-a-Ride's Dougie Bancroft.

"But I can reveal we'll have two 15ft by 10ft television screens in the park and at the football club. The children will start their event from the football club, while the adults will start from the town and both groups will be able to see the start of both races.


Santa Run 2003
More than 3,200 people took part in last year's run

"We have 1,000 competitors in the children's race and overall we'll have 5,000 runners which will smash the existing record.

"We've been told by Guinness World Records that there's no category for our type of event so they have to set one up.

"Hopefully, we'll be in next year's records' book."

This year's race will be held on Sunday, 5 December.

The competition is one of a number of wacky events held in mid Wales which includes Man versus Horse, which goes ahead on 12 June, and the World Bog Snorkelling Championships, held in August - both competitions are in Llanwrtyd Wells.

Prior to December last year, the world record for Santas gathered in one place was 2,685 - they assembled in Bralanda, Sweden, on 7 December last year.

But the 3,200 people who took part in the Newtown event last year smashed that.

The Guinness World Records stipulated that those attempting the record in 2003 had to wear a red Santa costume with matching hats, fake white beards and black belts for the 4.5-mile run.

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