Sunderland Reindeer Dash returns for 2023 - here's how to enter

Local charities The Foundation of Light and Red Sky Foundation set to benefit from festive fun run.
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This Sunday, December 3, the much loved Reindeer Dash will return to The Bridges for a festive fun run which raises hundreds of pounds for local charities.

The annual event sees families dressed as Santas, elves, grinches, reindeer, and an array of other Christmas characters make the 1km dash around The Bridges Shopping Centre.

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To supplement any fancy dress, runners will be issued with a set of antlers and a red nose, with Santa also making a special visit to hand out medals to the runners.

Wishee Washee from Aladdin and Samson the cat join runners at the start of last year's Reindeer Dash.Wishee Washee from Aladdin and Samson the cat join runners at the start of last year's Reindeer Dash.
Wishee Washee from Aladdin and Samson the cat join runners at the start of last year's Reindeer Dash.

This year's fun run will see 'dashers' joined by reindeer on stilts, with each participant also receiving a free ticket for a child to visit Santa himself at his Bridges based grotto.

Entry fees and any money raised through sponsorship will go to SAFC's official charity, The Foundation of Light, and the Red Sky Foundation, a North East charity which strives to "improve the lives of people needing cardiac care who are born with or develop heart conditions".

The popular event is organised by Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID).

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Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive at Sunderland BID, said: "The Reindeer Dash 2023 is a great opportunity to raise funds for others in our community who are less fortunate this Christmas.

“It’s always enormous fun and every year families tell us it really marks the start of Christmas for them.”

Before the dash, runners can take part in a festive themed warm-up led by community exercise group WearFit.

Last year's event at The Bridges also saw SAFC mascot Samson the cat and cast members from the Sunderland Empire pantomime taking part in the dash.

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The shopping centre's director, Karen Eve said: "We are delighted to be hosting the Reindeer Dash again.

“It’s more than just a fun run; it’s a day out. Once the race is over, families can visit Santa in his grotto and then explore everything else the centre has to offer. “They can grab a bite to eat and even do some Christmas shopping.”

Children and parents taking part in last year's Reindeer Dash.Children and parents taking part in last year's Reindeer Dash.
Children and parents taking part in last year's Reindeer Dash.

It's still not too late to don your antlers and take part in the dash, with tickets available for purchase at reindeerdash2023.eventbrite.co.uk

Entry to the Reindeer Dash for those aged 12 and under costs £5, with adult entries priced at £7.

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Any child aged five or under must be accompanied by a paying adult on the course.

People taking part should arrive at The Bridges to register between 8am and 8.30am with the warm-up taking place before the dash starts at 8.45am.

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