The Great Scottish Santa Run

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On your marks, get set, ho ho ho! A 1.5km sprint around Princes Street Gardens while dressed from head to toe in fake fur and wool might not sound the ideal cure for the festive hangover sweats. Yet, the sight of a massed army of Santas in trainers swarming towards you surely can’t fail to hearten even the hardest of hearts. This charity fundraiser packs a surreal punch, and, unless you suffer from a crippling fancy dress phobia, is a fantastic sight to behold. It’s essentially a sponsored run in aid of the When You Wish Upon a Star charity, which works to grant wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. At Christmas time the children are taken to Lapland where they can ride on sleighs, and, of course, meet the real Saint Nick himself.

So, put the stilton down for a second and pick up your plimsoles and the fake beard. It’s open to all, big and small, and all entrants are provided with their very own Santa suit or a dazzling piece of elvish millinery. Make sure to keep your costume on after the run; instead of the humdrum Lucozade and Bacofoil wrap, you can recuperate with complimentary mulled wine and mince pies from John Lewis.
The run is only a small part of what’s been aptly named Santa Weekend: a whole host of red and white-trimmed entertainment, which takes place throughout Princes Street Gardens on Sat 15 & Sun 16 December. There’s a Reindeer Garden, where you can get up close and personal with Santa’s best buddies; the opportunity to take a leisurely tour of the gardens on board the Santa Express, and a place to seek refuge from the festive frivolities under canvas, in Santa’s Lapland Village.

Santa Weekend, Sat 15 & Sun 16 Dec; The Great Scottish Santa Run, 11am, Sun 16 Dec, Princes Street Gardens. Register at www.thesantarun.org.uk; full info about Santa Weekend can be found at www.edinburghschristmas.com

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