PICTURE GALLERY: Charity Santa run takes place in Norwich

Father Christmas pulled out all the stops when he arranged for it to snow just as the Santa Run and Reindeer Dash began in Norwich yesterday.

The annual event took place at the Sportspark at the University of East Anglia and was aiming to raise �10,000 for children's cancer charity Clic Sargent.

But with about 100 Father Christmases and his trusty reindeer taking part, it was bound to prove slightly confusing for his little helpers. Elves Flim Flam, Elvish Parsley, Pippin and Mincemeat were on hand to entertain the waiting runners and join in with the festive warm-up ahead of the race in the freezing temperatures.

Flim Flam said: 'There's lot of people – and lots of Santas. It's very confusing.'

Elvish Parsley, who performs with his fellow elves as part of street theatre company Theatre of Adventure, said one bearded competitor, dressed in the customary red suit and hat, looked particularly similar to the real thing – but he was still suspicious.

It was the fourth time the event had taken place, and the third time Clic Sargent had been involved.

Each participant was asked to raise a minimum of �25 in sponsorship. Adults were provided with Santa suits while children were given reindeer antlers and had their faces painted.

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Annie Thomas, event fundraising manager for the charity, said: 'The whole idea is a really happy Christmas event for us to mark the festive period. Everyone really enjoys it and really looks forward to it.'

Among the runners were Gayle Larkman and her son Jack Smith, who were taking part for the third year. The pair, who were joined on the run by grandparents Doreen and Peter Larkman, first took part just months after six-year-old Jack was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2008. After a series of chemotherapy courses, he was given the all-clear in October this year.

His mum, 40, said: 'This event is a really fun way of saying 'thank you' to Clic Sargent, a little bit of pay-back for everything they have done for us.'

Helping to boost the fundraising total for the event were three colleagues from Kettle Foods. Chris Harbour, of Catton, Ann Pye, of Earlham Grove, and Jenny Armstrong, of Reepham, raised �1,005 between them after their employers agreed to match the �500 they had collected from fellow workers.

Helping to start the race was panto star Richard Gauntlett, who is playing Peggy Pickle in Sleeping Beauty at the Theatre Royal.

Are you organising a fun or quirky event? Contact the Evening News newsdesk on 01603 772443 or email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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