Sea of Santas take to the streets of St Albans for Jingle Bell Jog

Rennie Grove Jingle Bell Jog 2015 - Santas underway

Rennie Grove Jingle Bell Jog 2015 - Santas underway - Credit: Archant

There were festive frolics aplenty in St Albans on Sunday as nearly 400 people of all ages donned festive outfits and took to the streets to raise money for Rennie Grove Hospice Care.

Even a little rain didn’t dampen the seasonal spirit as adults and children adopted either Santa suits or reindeer antlers and red noses to take part in the sponsored 1.5k Reindeer Run or the 5k Jingle Bell Jog.

It is hoped the event will raise over £10,000 to help the Rennie Grove Day Services at Grove House and the 24 hour hospice at home nursing service to help keep patients at home surrounded by their families this Christmas and beyond.

St Albans Mayor Cllr Salih Gaygusuz was there to lend his support and cheer participants on their way, starting both races and awarding runners with medals as they crossed the finish line. Also offering support were stars from this year’s Alban Arena pantomime Peter Pan: Katrina Bryan from CBeebies’ Nina and the Neurons and Ian Kirkby, best known as Harry Batt from Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow.

First across the Jingle Bell Jog finish line was Paul Guy from Kimpton. Paul, who is a keen runner of 5K and 10K events, also brought his family along to take part in the Reindeer Run and said afterwards: “I really enjoyed the race today. I take part most years to support the charity. The girls wanted me to be the fastest Santa and I enjoy the opportunity to dress up!”

Linda Whitaker from St Albans who took part for the first time with her husband, James, said, “It was brilliant. Great fun – especially the cars tooting in support! We really enjoyed it and will be back next year – with a team of friends!”

The Mayor said: “What a wonderful city we live in with people who are so charitable! Every day, everywhere I go, there are hundreds of people who want to make things better for others and who really care about the vulnerable and those in need. This is what makes St Albans the great place it is.”

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Rennie Grove fundraising and marketing director Gillian Barnett said: “We would like to thank everyone for their support. There was a fantastic atmosphere throughout with all our wonderful runners showing true festive spirit and being cheered along their way by our brilliant marshals.

“As we come to the end of the year in which we celebrated providing 30 years of care for patients with cancer and other life-limiting illness in the St Albans and Harpenden area, we are particularly grateful for the continued fantastic fundraising efforts of the local community which will help ensure we can carry on caring for local patients and families into the future.”