Festive runners paint the town red as nearly 1,000 take part in Big Leeds Santa Dash

Hundreds donned their Santa suits to take part in one of Leeds' most festive traditions on Sunday.

Sunday, 15th December 2019, 5:00 pm
Hundreds of runners took part in the Leeds Santa Dash for St Gemma's Hospice on Sunday. Picture: Simon Hulme

The Big Leeds Santa Dash was held in the city centre on Sunday morning, with the rain clearing just in time for the 900 runners to take part.

Santas of all ages, from little ones up to seasoned runners, took part in the fun which set off from Albion Place at 9.30am.

There were even four-legged runners joining in as families brought along their dogs in Christmas jumpers and festive outfits.

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Hundreds of runners took part in the Leeds Santa Dash for St Gemma's Hospice on Sunday. Picture: Simon Hulme

The 5k involved five laps of 1km around the pedestrianised areas of the city centre, along Albion Place, Bond Street, Commercial Street and Lands Lane.

Richard Swift, from Bramley, was one of the 900 runners taking part.

He said: "It's one of the few runs where everyone can just have a bit of a laugh. It's great to see so many here today getting in the festive spirit and of course it's all for a great cause."

The Santa Dash is held every year in the city centre by St Gemma's Hospice to raise vital funds in keeping the hospice open and providing care for children with life-limiting illnesses.

Hundreds of runners took part in the Leeds Santa Dash for St Gemma's Hospice on Sunday. Picture: Simon Hulme

Thousands of pounds were raised for St Gemma's in this year's Dash.

Hundreds of runners took part in the Leeds Santa Dash for St Gemma's Hospice on Sunday. Picture: Simon Hulme