Liverpool Santa Dash: About 8,000 take part in fun run

Santa Dash in Liverpool
Image caption The event started at the Pier Head in front of the Liver Building

About 8,000 people have taken part in the annual Liverpool Santa dash to raise money for charity.

Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle officially started the race as the runners, all dressed in Santa suits, set off through the city centre.

The 5km fun run started in front of the Liver Building at 09:30 GMT and ended at the town hall.

Taking part in the event were Walton MP Steve Rotheram, Liz McClarnon and Natasha Hamilton.

Among the sea of Santas were many dressed in blue Santa outfits, worn by Everton supporters.

One of those was Liz McClarnon, who was running the race with her dog, Coco.

She said: "It shows what Liverpool is all about, the fact that we are all here just to raise money.

Image caption Evertonian Liz McClarnon ran the race in a blue Santa suit

"It's very early on a Sunday morning, it's freezing, but everyone is here to have a laugh and raise money for charity."

Mr Rotheram, who was dressed in a more traditional red outfit, said: "It's a fantastic day, it's a really crisp morning and there are thousands turning up to run this Santa dash.

"It's got a serious undertone, which is to try and raise as much money as possible.

"But it's a bit of fun and while people run around and have a bit of banter about the red and the blues, they can also raise money for a loved one's charity or something they feel endeared towards.

"There is a great spirit towards this whole event."

Runners were raising money for charities across the UK.

Nikki Curzon, from Walton, was running in memory of her daughter Lily, to raise money for the Meningitis Trust.

She said: "Lily, our gorgeous baby girl, passed away from pneumococcal meningitis in June after a week long battle, aged just 15 months.

"It is our aim now to help the Meningitis Trust raise awareness and funds to help fight this disease and the devastation it causes, and hopefully prevent the heartache that we went through happening to another family."

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