WATCH: Santas descend on Hartlepool to ramp up Christmas festivities for a good cause

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Over 200 Santas descended on Hartlepool as families did their bit for a good cause.

The annual Hartlepool and District Hospice Santa Run took place as participants completed one lap of Ward Jackson Park.

Over 200 people and dogs took part in the eighth annual Hartlepool and District Hospice Santa Run.

Over 200 people and dogs took part in the eighth annual Hartlepool and District Hospice Santa Run.

Organisers are hoping that as much as £5,000 could be raised for the hospice’s specialist patient care services from what was the eighth staging of the event.

For the first time, dogs were able to enter this year’s run, which was not affected by Storm Desmond, much to the relief of event organiser Janice Forbes.

She said: “It was another fantastic turnout, with over 200 Santas and little helpers.

“To have dogs involved was new for us, and that went down very well. There was a terrific atmosphere.

It was another fantastic turnout, with over 200 Santas and little helpers

Janice Forbes

“We’re hoping to raise £4,000 for our patient care. We’ve already raised about £2,500 of that.

“I’d like to thank everyone who helped and supported us both on the day and in the lead-up to it, including our sponsor Twenty 3 Taxis.

“It’s always a nice way to start the Christmas festivities.

“We were also lucky with the weather, as Desmond didn’t spoil it for us!

Over 200 people and dogs took part in the eighth annual Hartlepool and District Hospice Santa Run.

Over 200 people and dogs took part in the eighth annual Hartlepool and District Hospice Santa Run.

“It has been a great event for all the family.”

In first place was youngster Callum Gaffney, while the first girl over the finish line was Poppie Allen, 12.

Afterwards, entrants enjoyed a mince pie, supplied by Maria from Place in the Park, while other attractions included a children’s choir, DJ Kevin King playing festive tunes, stalls and a tombola.

People came from far and wide to take part, including father and daughter David Gould and Joanne Jones, who came from Leeds.

Over 200 people and dogs took part in the eighth annual Hartlepool and District Hospice Santa Run.

Over 200 people and dogs took part in the eighth annual Hartlepool and District Hospice Santa Run.

Mr Gould said: “We brought the dog Henry and Joanne’s daughter Idha, and it was the first time we’ve done it.

“We all really enjoyed it and would definitely like to do it again in the future.”

Paul Butcher, 53, from Hartlepool, was taking part in the event for the first time, and said: “I was running it with my daughter Ellie’s dance academy, Hollis Dance Academy.

“We were doing it as a group of mums, dads and kids, and it was very enjoyable.

“The weather stayed good for us fortunately, and that contributed to a great day.”

Tracy Johnston, 54, added: “It was the first time I had taken part in it, and it was really good.

Over 200 people and dogs took part in the eighth annual Hartlepool and District Hospice Santa Run.

Over 200 people and dogs took part in the eighth annual Hartlepool and District Hospice Santa Run.

“I did it because I’m in the dog business, as I have a company called Barking Mad, so I brought my dogs Millie and Woody along.

“The atmosphere was great, and this is always a good event. I came last year to watch, but I’m glad I took part this time.”

Alison Cooke, whose dog Buju - who was recently found after being lost for four days - started the race, said: “We appealed on Facebook, Twitter and all over, and luckily someone had heard a cry where he was trapped.

“They called the number which was on one of the posters we put up, and my husband Andrew had to break through lots of bushes, where he was trapped.

“He’s my baby, and it was an honour for him to start the run. He was very hyper and excited.”

Over 200 people and dogs took part in the eighth annual Hartlepool and District Hospice Santa Run.

Over 200 people and dogs took part in the eighth annual Hartlepool and District Hospice Santa Run.

Over 200 people and dogs took part in the eighth annual Hartlepool and District Hospice Santa Run.

Over 200 people and dogs took part in the eighth annual Hartlepool and District Hospice Santa Run.

Over 200 people and dogs took part in the eighth annual Hartlepool and District Hospice Santa Run.

Over 200 people and dogs took part in the eighth annual Hartlepool and District Hospice Santa Run.