There are Santa Runs all over the world around this time of year, and the Stockholm Santa Run, in its second year, was on today at Tantolunden in Södermalm. After being organised for the first time in Stockholm in 2013, at which time 80 Santas took to the streets, the 2015 Santa Run looked like it was going to be a much bigger event, with almost 8,000 people accepting the invite to attend on Facebook.
The actual number of Santas was much lower, I would estimate around 300, which is probably a reflection of the fact that a) people accept invites on Facebook to events that look interesting without any intention of turning up and b) the event was turned into a charity event, with people being asked to purchase tickets to fundraise money. The money raised from the event goes to Save the Children, The Red Cross, City Mission and Activisfonden.
It was a pretty cold day, about -2, and my only criticism would be that the Santas were made to wait around for too long before the run actually started. It started to snow a little bit as we heard from organises, sponsors, and then did a series of warm-up exercises. The organiser, Kiana Moberg, did a great job with the overall organisation of the event, and was clearly very well supported by partners and the local community. We lined up at the start line, ready to run the 3 km loop around Tantolunden.
I considered moving towards the front and trying to run at a decent pace, but as I started running and my Santa pants started to fall off so I decided best just to jog around the course and enjoy it. It would have been great (despite the Santa pants issue) to run a bit further, 3 km is short and it was all over as quickly as it started. Perhaps next year they will consider increasing the distance to a 10 km Santa Run. But at the end of the day this was a charity event and a fun time for everyone involved.
Unsurprisingly, Santa was the winner.