Coming soon: Bradley Stoke Santa Runs

Photo of Karen Taylor (left) and Vicky Lovell in Santa hats and Parkinson's UK T-shirts.

Local residents look set to be seeing red, and rather a lot of it, on the first two Saturdays in December, thanks to two local running enthusiasts who are organising what are believed to be Bradley Stoke’s first-ever Santa Runs.

Each of the two charity events, on 2nd and 9th December, will start and finish at the Willow Brook shopping centre and offer a selection of courses suitable for both walkers and runners
Karen Taylor and Vicky Lovell are organising the events to raise money for Parkinson’s UK, which is the charity they have chosen to support through their planned participation in the Dixons Carphone Race to the Stones, a two-day, 100km ultra trail marathon that takes place in July 2018.

Karen has worked with people who are affected by Parkinson’s for over 15 years, as a therapy assistant, and has witnessed the impact the condition has on the individual and their loved ones. She explains: “Parkinson’s UK are an amazing support to these people and also the professionals working alongside them. This is why we both decided to choose this charity, so we could organise fundraising events jointly.”

Explaining the format of the events, Vicky says: “We are encouraging participants to dress up in anything festive, not just Santa outfits. People may choose to be elves, Christmas trees, Christmas puddings, snowmen, crackers, presents, fairies, stars, baubles etc. or just wear a Christmas T-shirt – but the best costumes will win prizes!”

To cater for all abilities, three course options will be offered: ‘run all the way’ 5km or 10km; ‘run/walk’ 5km; and ‘walk all the way’ 5km.

The Santa Runs are being organised with the cooperation of the Willow Brook Centre and businesses at the centre are donating prizes to be awarded to the best-dressed participants.

Anytime Fitness are the official business sponsor of the two Santa Runs and they will be providing a 10 to 15 minute warm-up before the start of each event.

Parkinson’s UK are covering the events with their public liability insurance and the routes have been approved by South Gloucestershire Council.

Entry fees are £8 for adults and £5 for children with a discount for those wishing to enter both events. Engraved medals and free cake will be handed out to all participants at the finish line. Once everyone has finished, the fancy dress winners will be announced and the prizes will be presented.

To sign up, search for “Vicky & Karen’s Race to the Stones – Parkinson’s UK” (@VKRTTS2018) on Facebook to find their joint training and fundraising page or email

Photo: Karen Taylor (left) and Vicky Lovell.

This article originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 39). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

UPDATE (18th November 2017): Both Santa Runs are now SOLD OUT!

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