The Running of the Santas is an annual holiday celebration event in Philadelphia where hundreds of pub crawlers take to the South Street section of the city dressed as Santa Claus. Begun in 1998, the event began to take a life of its own as three dozen Santa runners grew to several hundred by the mid 2000's. The event draws a significant number of Rutgers University Staff, Alumni and Sea Isle City patrons where some of the founding members once worked.
The first Running of the Santas was held on December 23, 1998. 40+ Santas arrived at Pitcher's Pub in Manayunk donned in red and white and pub crawled up and down Main Street. 1999 was the first ROS blizzard and in 2002 The Running of the Santas relocated to South Street. By 2003, the Run amassed hundreds and 2005 was a record turnout seen by all major TV networks and heard by Philly's hottest radio stations.
More than 4,000 red-clad runners took to the streets of the city for the 2005 Santa Dash Charity Run. Organisers are working out the exact number to see if the second annual Liverpool Santa Dash has broken the world record. The rival Newtown event, which is the current record holder, also had 4,000 plus runners for its race.
Both Dashes seem certain to beat the previous world best of 3,445. Independent experts are counting how many runners took part in Liverpool, after organisers collected every coupon.
Race Director Alan Rothwell said, "I hope everybody has given their slips in because that's what will make the difference. We're now planning an even bigger event next year. Everyone who saw how much fun it was will want to take part".
More than 4,500 people had registered to tackle the race, which was started by Blues legend Derek Mountfield in Castle Street. They should raise up to £100,000 for the ECHO Sunrise Fund which is supporting the Marina Dalglish Appeal.
Marina's husband, Kop idol Kenny Dalglish, said, "It's a great reflection of Merseyside that so many people turned out. Everybody who ran or sponsored someone is a star."
Mossley Hill teacher Bernie Murphy, 39 broke the tape, with a 20 second gap to second place. Among the ECHO's team were editor Alastair Machray, who finished in 42 minutes, and education reporter Jane Woodhead who has already run the London and New York marathons this year.
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