THE annual Santa Dash around the streets of Douglas will take place on Tuesday, December 18 – with the 2012 event witnessing a number of innovations.
With numbers gradually increasing in recent years – up to a record 126 last year – the decision has been taken to close some of the roads around the course while the Isle of Man Bank-sponsored event is in progress.
Another change sees registration taking place at the South Douglas Old Friends Association instead of outside the headquarters of Isle of Man Bank in Athol Street. Competitors are also being asked to let event officials know how much money they have raised through their own individual sponsorship.
Race organiser John Lindon, head of community investment at Isle of Man Bank, explained: ‘The decision to close some of the roads to traffic has obviously been taken for safety reasons but the Dash is over in a matter of a few minutes so there should not be much disruption to traffic.
‘For the first time we are asking competitors to email us with details of how much money they have obtained by sponsorship. This is so we can get a better idea what the event raises for charity.
‘The Bank donates £2,700 in prize money and we estimate the total amount is somewhere in the vicinity of £10,000-£12,000 – but it would be nice to obtain a definitive figure.’
As usual, the Dash takes the Santas down Prospect Hill, along Victoria Street and Loch Promenade, then up Church Road to a finish outside the South Douglas Old Friends Association in Finch Road.
The Bank’s prize fund includes £300, £200 and £100 cheques for the first three finishers as well as £100 for the first lady Santa over the line.
In addition, there are awards for the best Santa outfits together with a further 18 spot prizes for pre-determined, but secret, finishing positions.
Entrants must be dressed in a full Santa costume, be at least 18 years old and running on behalf of a Manx-registered charity. Entry forms must be returned to Mr Lindon by December 17. In the event of bad weather necessitating a postponement, the new date will be Tuesday, January 8.
The emphasis is on taking part but the more competitive runners will have as their target the record for the course of 4 minutes 20 seconds which was established in 2011 by Kevin Loundes. This broke the previous record which was set by John Halligan in 2007.