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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 December, 2004, 15:30 GMT
Santas' hopes for breaking record
Santas running through Newtown on Sunday
The race raises thousands of pounds for charity
A mid Wales town is hoping it has broken the world record for having the most number of people dressed up as Santa in the same place.

About 4,000 adults donned Santa suits for the fourth annual Santa Run through Newtown in Powys on Sunday.

The current Guinness World record is held by Bralanda in Sweden, which gathered 2,685 Santas in 2002.

In 2003, 3,200 Father Christmases completed the Newtown course but the record could not be confirmed.

To break the Guinness World Record, each runner must wear full Santa dress consisting of suit, hat, belt and white beard.

You wouldn't think so many people would be so happy to get up early on a Sunday and run four-and-a-half miles
Organiser Jo Corfield

The main route takes about three hours to complete, with competitors running past 20 large inflatable Santas and six pubs on the way.

Dougie Bancroft, of race organiser Newtown and District Dial A Ride, said: "It is impossible to truly describe what the day is like without having attended yourself.

"The day is really spectacular for all ages."

After the race, fellow organiser Jo Corfield said: "We have had a fantastic day. The town has been absolutely covered in red and white.

"The atmosphere has been amazing - you wouldn't think so many people would be so happy to get up early on a Sunday and run four-and-a-half miles."

Santa with a drink after the race
One Santa cools off after the race

The winner for the second year in a row was Matthew Gurmin from Pontllanraith, near Blackwood, Gwent, in a time of 21 minutes, six seconds.

He said: "I run seriously but it raises money for good causes, so the more the merrier."

In 2003, runners raised 80,000 for charities through their fancy dress efforts and it is hoped the 2004 total will be higher.

Newtown and District Dial A Ride is a small community charity, which offers an essential transport link for mid Wales.

It makes more than 14,000 journeys a year delivering thousands of meals-on-wheels and helping wheelchair users.


SEE ALSO:
Record Santa plans hot up
08 Jun 04 |  Mid
Santa Run's celebrity hope
22 Nov 03 |  Mid


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