Wellington Santa Run raises cash for kids

Last updated 05:00 06/12/2012
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CRAIG SIMCOX/Fairfax NZ

ON THE RUN: Hundreds of people dressed as Santa Claus make their way along the Wellington waterfront.

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More than 500 Santas and a handful of elves streamed down Wellington's waterfront last night to raise money for children living in poverty.

The Great KidsCan Santa Run drew more than 4000 participants countrywide and 520 in Wellington. The blustery winds may have put a few off - organisers were expecting about 700 - but plenty of people, and a few dogs, made it to the starting line at Frank Kitts Park.

Among the participants was runner Sarah Christie, along with her five children, including 6-month-old Paddy, who rode on her shoulders.

She could not manage her usual pace - which has seen her win a swag of half-marathon titles - but said the race was more about raising money and having fun.

"I just think it is the best cause ever. I have five children myself and I think no child should go hungry."

Her son, 11-year-old Boston - sporting a bulging Santa stomach courtesy of a large pillow - said it was about charity, not about winning. "But I will give it a try."

Runners and walkers were kitted out with Santa apparel at the park and warmed up with a quick mass Zumba session.

The red and white horde ran along the waterfront, past Te Papa, around the Telecom Christmas tree and back to the park.

KidsCan's focus is on alleviating child poverty, including providing clothes, shoes and food.

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- The Dominion Post

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