Santas turn beach bunnies in charity run

Over 100 run for KidsCan event

SUSAN STRONGMAN
Last updated 05:00 03/12/2013
Santa beach run
ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ
HO HO HIGHER: Santa (Joelle Xavier) gets in some practice before the 2.7km Great KidsCan run at East End Beach in New Plymouth.

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Santa's swapping his sleigh for a pair of running shoes tomorrow for New Plymouth's first Great KidsCan Santa Run.

More than 100 people dressed as Father Christmas, Mrs Claus or Santa Claus junior are tipped to run or walk along East End Beach in an event to raise money for KidsCan, a charity supporting Kiwi kids living in poverty.

Sport Taranaki recreation adviser Joelle Xavier said the 2.5 kilometre beach run would be an excellent event.

"It will be low tide and the weather is forecast to hold. It will be brilliant. Afterwards participants will be able to enjoy the sunset and a sausage sizzle."

Two of the six Taranaki schools involved with the charity are Waitara East and Waitara Central Schools.

Waitara East deputy principal Graham Sands said KidsCan enabled schools to give pupils some of the things they needed to be healthy and happy, including shoes, socks, jackets, snacks and lunches.

He will be on barbecue duty at the event.

"Anything to do with food and I'll be there."

Ms Xavier said entrants aged 13 and over would get a Santa suit to run in and there would be goodie bags and spot prizes to be won.

Those who miss out on a costume are still encouraged to dress up, she said, "as elves, reindeer, Santa's helpers, or whatever they want".

Her only concern was the size of Santa's draw-string trousers.

"I can imagine a lot of people will lose their pants, actually."

Seventeen other KidsCan Santa Runs will happen throughout the country simultaneously.

To enter, go to the Great KidsCan Santa Run website, or head to East End Reserve between 5.15 and 6pm on the night.

The run starts at 6.30pm.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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