A record 250 soggy Santas (and his elves and reindeer) took to the streets of Portree, the Isle of Skye’s capital, in challenging weather conditions on Saturday (15 December).
Now in its third year, the popular Skye Santa Dash continues to grow in numbers and has become a real community event for the Island. This year, it raised over £1000 for local charities.
But organisers didn’t rested on their wreaths for 2018. This year brought two new elements to the two-mile event: optional fancy dress and a new route to enable Santa Dashers with mobility limitations to take part.
As Skye Events Development Officer, Sam Crowe, explained to runABC Scotland online: "After watching a recent documentary on 'fast fashion', race organisers determined to reduce the number of Santa suits that might be worn only once. So, to encourage that, runners were given a discounted entry in return for wearing their own homemade fancy dress outfits."
The experiment was a huge success, and interesting example for similar events to follow.
Crowe continued: ‘Encouraging runners to wear their own fancy dress was a great development, as it added an additional element of fun and interest to the event. Before the race started, runners paraded around the Square, and this year’s prizes went only to those with the best outfits.’
Alongside the new fancy dress policy, the Skye Santa Dash piloted a second, optional, route, suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs and entrants with mobility restrictions.
This innovation was also a huge success, as it allowed a whole new band of enthusiastic Santa Dashers to get involved. Organisers Skye Events hope to develop this option even further for the 2019 race.
Image: Simon (L) the individual costume winner (courtesy Skye Santa Dash)