The Story Of The Skipton Santa Fun Run

Skipton Santa Fun Run

By Brian Stott

The event was first held in 2010 and was the brainchild of Skipton Craven Rotary Member Tony Walton. Sadly Tony has now passed away but his idea was to have a fun event in our town which at the same time could benefit charities and good causes. It is a testament to Tony that his vision was successful and has gone from strength to strength and it is now recognised as the Traditional Start to the Festive Season in Craven. Is this one of the reasons why Craven has recently been recognised as the Happiest Place to live in the U.K.?

Skipton Santa Fun Run

The first event attracted just over 400 Santas and Rotarians were amazed and delighted with that initial turnout. Over the following years more and more people have joined the Red and White Crowd and in 2016 we had over 1300 Santas running jogging or walking the 5 kilometre course. Many Santas return year after year and are quick to get their entries in as soon as they can in July when the Rotary Club open up for business.

Every year the Rotarians ensure that the money raised by the entry fees goes directly to their chosen charities and since 2010 a whole host of them have benefitted. Manorlands Hospice, Martin House Hospice , Yorkshire air Ambulance, Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue, British Heart Foundation, Yorkshire Cancer Research, Leeds Hospital Children’s Heart Surgery Fund have all benefitted tremendously from the monies raised.

This is 2016 Rotary Club President George Garland with Yorkshire cancer Research’s Mascot Yorkshire Terrier at last years event.

Santa Fun Run

Many Santas run to raise money for their own chosen charities and for example groups of Santas from SELFA, Christ Church School and Parish Church School all raised money for themselves in 2016.

Over the seven previous year’s Rotarians are delighted that Tony’s original idea has raised £133,000.

This year the event will be held on Sunday 26th November and the target is 2000 Santas. Start time is 11am.

Anyone can enter from age 6 upwards. The entry fee is £8 for 6-15 year olds and £12 for 16 year olds and above. Everyone is provided with their free Santa Suit Hat and Beard to wear and keep and there is a medal to every Santa who completes the course. This year’s beneficiary charities are Manorlands and Yorkshire Cancer Research.

There is an Aerobic Warm Up with Jane Peggs before the start to make sure everyone is limbered up and ready and in the Festive Mood.


The course starts and finishes in beautiful Aireville Park and takes in some scenic sights behind Skipton Castle and the High Street area of Skipton returning to the Park on the Canal Towpath.


So why not have a look at this video of last year’s event, once you have seen it you won’t want to miss out

and then pop over to to make your entry on line.

Follow the build-up to the race on Facebook

and Twitter

The Skipton Craven Rotary Members are hoping to greet 2000 of you this year so please don’t disappoint them and join in the Festive Fun.

Here are some Santas doing their training!

Santas Training


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