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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 December 2006, 14:52 GMT
Rival Santa runs, 35 miles apart
Race winner Lee Morris
Winner Lee Morris, 25, of Swansea, crosses the finish line in Newtown
Hundreds of Santas took part in not one but two charity runs just 35 miles apart on Sunday.

It is the sixth year a Santa Run has been organised in Newtown, Powys, but it was temporarily cancelled earlier this year before being reinstated.

Another charity run in aid of a hospice was also held in Oswestry, Shropshire.

Both runs went ahead, attracting just under 2,000 competitors and raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity.

Organisers of the Newtown event - which once attracted a record-breaking 3,445 competitors - said numbers were down on previous years but they did not blame the rival event.

Tammy Sinden, one of the organisers, said: "We had between 700 and 800 runners and raised at least 10,000 for Dial A Ride.

"We are thrilled we decided to go ahead. Even though the event was on a much smaller scale it was still successful.

"I hear the others had a successful event as well and we're pleased we both managed to have successful days within such a close space."

Competitors in Newtown shelter from the rain

The four-and-a-half mile run was started by Montgomeryshire politicians Lembit Opik MP and Mick Bates AM.

Ms Sinden said they both dressed up as Santa but handed out medals at the end rather than compete in the race.

Not too far away in Oswestry around 1,000 Santas took part in a two-and-a-half mile race which was started by Beth Tweddle, the first ever British gold medal winner at the gymnastics world championships last year.

This event was organised by Hope House, which has children's hospices in Conwy and Shropshire.

Vanessa Lloyd, appeals co-ordinator at Hope House, said: "It was fantastic.

"We had rain and wind throughout last night so we thought it was going to be awful, but it cleared up and the sun came out for the race.

"We've taken around 20,000 today and that could possibly go up to 50,000 by the time all the sponsor money is in."

Another Santa run was held in Liverpool on Sunday, which holds the current record for the numbers taking part.




SEE ALSO
Charities argue over Santa runs
25 Sep 06 |  Mid Wales
Charity organises new Santa run
13 Jul 06 |  Mid Wales
Santa Run takes a year's breather
23 Jun 06 |  Mid Wales
Santa run snatches world record
05 May 05 |  Mid Wales
Santas accused of street brawl
10 Dec 04 |  Mid Wales

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