Tears and triumph at the Sheffield Santa Run
Runners turned out in force for Team Wilkinson
There was more than a little happiness and joy on Christmas Eve at the 2020 Sheffield Santa Run as people attended on behalf of organisers Darren and Mel Wilkinson (Run For It). For Darren and Mel it was a positive end to a turbulent year.
As Covid-19 raged throughout 2020, Darren Wilkinson was dealing with a crisis of his own as he went on a roller coaster journey of surgery and setbacks after being diagnosed with a rare tumour of the jaw. With wife Mel at his side he came through his ordeal and wanting to get back to their passion, that of organising family-friendly events, they decided to hold their annual Santa Run & Walk and raise funds for local charity Living Beyond Mouth & Face Cancer.
Their Santa Run Ho Ho Go and evening-based Santa Run Ho Ho Glow were organised in accordance with government guidelines regarding outdoor sport and Tier 3 restrictions. This plus cold weather didn’t spoil the day as everyone was in the festive spirit, wearing Santa hats and personalised red tech T-shirts as they ran (or walked) 5K or 10K near Sheffield Meadowhall. They had a choice of three start times: 11am, 2pm or 5pm and every finisher received a medal and mince pies.
The running community showed its caring, compassionate side as they applauded and cheered Darren and Mel at the beginning of the event. They were overwhelmed by this kind gesture and the support that contributed towards the success of this event.
Exhausted yet elated by what they considered their best Santa Run, Darren and Mel paid tribute to all involved saying: “2020 may have been a horrendous year but it brought some of the most fantastic and inspirational people to us who we are now awed and honoured to call our friends. It was the toughest event to put on but thanks to our incredible volunteers and runners, it was the best Christmas of our lives. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts”
They will be back in 2021 as Run Sheffield. Watch this space...
Image courtesy of Darren Wilkinson