On your marks, get set ... go Ho Ho!

Lots of people, and animals, joined in the Auchtertool Santa run. Pic: FPA
Lots of people, and animals, joined in the Auchtertool Santa run. Pic: FPA

Dozens of brightly coloured Santas and elves took to the streets of Auchtertool at the weekend for a festive charity Santa Run.

Following the success of the first event last year, villagers decided to repeat the fun run to raise funds for the village primary school and a small Edinburgh-based children’s cancer charity called It’s Good 2 Give.

This year’s Santa Run attracted around 60 runners – slightly fewer than last year when around 65 locals donned festive outfits to run around the streets, but raised more money, with around £1800 collected and more still coming in from sponsorship.

Among the runners were the Carter family with son Milo (5).

Milo was diagnosed with stage 5 kidney cancer when he was just 3-years-old and it had also spread to his liver and lungs. It’s Good 2 Give helped him and his family through a very difficult period when Milo was in the Sick Children’s Hospital in Edinburgh after undergoing surgery to remove one of his kidneys at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Milo’s mum Sarah, who took part in the run with dad Kevin and little brother Noah (2), said the charity, which is run by one person had helped to encourage her son to eat by providing nutritious snacks in the Edinburgh hospital.

“It’s the little things that make all the difference and It’s Good 2 Give was a great help to us.”

The charity is busy fundraising to build a special retreat in the Trossachs for families like the Carters, and Sarah said the money would go towards this.

“Milo started school this year and has finished all his treatment, so we are all really looking forward so much to Christmas this year and we are very grateful to everyone in the village for taking part in this event, particularly Camilla Training Aspects which raised a tremendous amount of sponsorship.”

Local resident Jill Hamilton helped organise the event with members of the school’s parent council.

She said: “The first run came about after people from Auchtertool went to watch the Santa Run in Edinburgh. They thought it would be good to have one here because there’s great community spirit in Auchtertool.

“It is great because both adults and children can take part, so it’s a real family fun event.”

The runners started off from the primary school and ran through the streets of the village, including along the main street where they were waved and cheered on their way by residents from the local nursing home.

“It was a fantastic day and everyone who took part really enjoyed themselves,” said Jill.

“We are hoping to make it an annual event which everyone will put on their calendar.”