The race is on for Liverpool to retain the title as the world’s biggest festive fun run when it hosts the event on Sunday, 6 December!
BTR Liverpool, organisers of the increasingly popular Medicash Santa Dash Liverpool, was officially presented with the Santaz trophy today (Monday, 17 August) by the organiser of the Great Santa Run in Las Vegas. Liverpool won the World Santa Challenge last December on its 10th anniversary when 8,500 Santas took part in the festive spectacular – making it both the UK’s and the world’s biggest festive fun run. The city took the title from Las Vegas which has held the honours since 2011. Linda Smith, Associate Executive Director of Las Vegas charity Opportunity Village, made the trip to Liverpool especially to present the trophy to the BTR Liverpool team, with whom she has built a strong partnership in recent years.
The official launch revealed Medicash as the title sponsor for this year’s event, which will be known as The Medicash Santa Dash Liverpool 2015. The presentation took place in the city’s Goodness Gracious roof garden at Oh Me Oh My, Water Street – under the gaze of the iconic Liver Birds. Guests including Santa enjoyed mince pies from The Albion Bakehouse and spiced tea from Oh Me Oh Me – making it a real festive launch in August!
Linda presented the Santaz trophy to BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell, who started the Liverpool Santa Dash in 2004 with 2,000 participants. In 2007, the event was expanded to also include a fun run just for children with the 1K Mini Dash. And in 2010, blue Santa suits were introduced due to public demand.
The Medicash Santa Dash Liverpool continues to grow in popularity and is now seen as the official start to Christmas in the city, taking place on the first Sunday of December each year. The 5K fun run starts at Pier Head Liverpool on the city’s world UNESCO World Heritage Site waterfront in front of the Three Graces. The route takes Santas through the city centre, before finishing outside Liverpool Town Hall.
The Medicash Santa Dash Liverpool 2015 is on Sunday, 6 December – and already 800 red, blue and mini Santas have signed up.
BTR Liverpool is the leading independent organisation for creating, managing and delivering headline race events in Liverpool City Region. Its growing portfolio includes the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon and Tour Of Merseyside.
BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented: “It’s an absolute honour to receive the Santaz world title trophy on behalf of the 8,500 blue, red and mini Santas who took part in last year’s event. We feel very privileged Linda has made the journey from Opportunity Village to hand over the trophy – well it has been in Las Vegas since 2011 so it’s about time it came back to Liverpool.
“The Liverpool Santa Dash is a real spectacle. Nothing matches the sight of seeing thousands of Santas gathering at the Pier Head on race day. Then later seeing them spend the day enjoying the city, still wearing their Santa suits and proudly displaying their medal.
“So join us for the 11th annual event with our new title sponsor Medicash. Let’s smash last year’s total and keep the Santaz trophy and title in Liverpool – where it belongs!”
Last year’s event attracted Santas from across the country, travelling to the city specifically to enjoy the festive fun run. There was also an international flavour with overseas participants from America (Pennsylvania, New York), Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Slovakia, South Africa and Switzerland all sharing the experience.
Linda Smith, Associate Executive Director of Las Vegas charity Opportunity Village, added: “I am absolutely delighted to be back in Liverpool to present BTR with the Santaz trophy. I’ve experienced the Liverpool Santa Dash for myself and it’s a very special event, the sights really are unbelievable and people go to so much effort on the day. Liverpool really deserves the title this time – but we’re not beaten. The challenge is on to win it back for Las Vegas.”
Title sponsors Medicash were established in Liverpool over 140 years ago. The organisation has a corporate and individual membership of over 170,000, making it one of the oldest and most established healthcare cash plan providers in the UK.
Andy Abernethy, Medicash Marketing Manager, said: “We are delighted to become the title sponsor for The Medicash Santa Dash Liverpool 2015. This is a terrific opportunity for Medicash and we are looking forward to working with BTR Liverpool to raise the profile of one of the city’s most enjoyable and established events on a local, national and international platform.
“We are committed to promoting health and wellbeing, and this event is the perfect introduction to fitness, running and improving your lifestyle. So join us to walk, jog or run in The Medicash Liverpool Santa Dash 2015 – it’s going to be a fantastic day.”
The official charity partners for The Medicash Santa Dash Liverpool 2015 are Claire House Children’s Hospice, Radio City’s Cash For Kids, Everton in the Community, Jospice, and the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation – who are the five BTR Footsteps Fundraisers charities.
The BTR Footsteps Fundraisers initiative is a fundraising partnership which brings the charities together to benefit financially through BTR’s key race events over a 12-month period by encouraging participants to fundraise and support them.
Fundraisers can collect a sponsor form from the BTR Liverpool office at 23 Hatton Garden, Liverpool, L3 2FE – or can set up their own online fundraising page at www.everydayhero.co.uk/event/supportbtrfootsteps – where all funds raised will be split equally between the five charities.
Next in the BTR race calendar is the 26-mile Whistle Stop Tour Of Wirral (11 to 13 September), which also incorporates the BTR Wirral Half Marathon on 13 September.
BTR recently won the title of Event Of The Year at the Wirral Tourism Awards 2015 for the Wirral Half Marathon/10K.