Emma B
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Washington Running Club holds a Santa Run for Bloodwise

Emma B
Posted by
12 Feb 2018

Bloodwise Ambassador Emma Bottoms attends the Tyne and Wear running club's annual Christmas-themed fun run

People dressed as Santa Claus and other festive characters take part in a Santa Run to fundraise for Bloodwise, the blood cancer research charity

On the 17 December, a cold Sunday morning in the north east of England, a crowd of runners dressed as Santa Claus and other festive characters gathered in the pouring rain. They were there to take part in Washington Running Club's annual Santa Run: a fun run which takes runners around the streets of Washington, Tyne and Wear.

Before the event, I’d heard that Washington Running Club are nicknamed the friendly club and I’ve seen their generosity and kindness over the last few years. But even I was surprised to see such a great turn out. Had there been a chance of a PB or some muddy trails to explore, I would’ve expected nothing less, but today it was just for the love of running and to raise some money for a good cause. Particular kudos has to be given for those who chose to wear shorts!

I used to be a member of the running club, paced slower than a gazelle but faster than a plodder. I haven’t been running with them since 2015 when I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Although I am nearing the final six months of my treatment, due to the muscle wastage and nerve damage from the chemotherapy and recovery from surgery following an infection, it’s taken longer than I’d hoped to get out again. I am starting to build up some fitness and strength, but, frustratingly, these things take time.

A group of people dressed as Santa Claus and other festive characters. They're taking part in a Santa Run to fundraise for Bloodwise

The atmosphere was superb as I watched them set off, every Santa looking as good as the next. The Bloodwise supporters with donation buckets were masters at drumming up support. I have to admit, even though it was wet and cold, I would’ve loved to put my gear on and join them!

It was a great day. I was so proud to be part of such a fantastic club and with the members and spectators help, they raised over £600 in buckets and online. Not bad for a wet and wintery Sunday morning in the little town of Washington.

Find out more about the Washington Run Club.