03/12/2012 00:00 AM

Santa Run boy

Santa flying down the wing at Old Trafford!

Giggs gets it going at the Santa Run...

Over 1000 Father Christmases turned out at Old Trafford this weekend to prove Santa is still a Red.

United star Ryan Giggs kicked off the festivities at the Manchester United Foundation’s sixth annual Santa Run on Sunday 2nd December by counting down to the start of the 2K Family Fun Run. 

QuoteOpenThe atmosphere and the fact that so many people are raising money for charity make it a really special event.QuoteClose

Giggsy was joined by Coronation Street star and supporter of the Foundation Antony Cotton, who also stuck around to give out medals to those who completed the first race, before starting off the 5K Serious Santa Run, a route which takes runners past MediaCity, the Lowry and the Imperial War Museum, before finishing with a lap of the world famous Old Trafford pitch.

Antony commented, “Today has been brilliant; great turn out and lots of people all having fun and at the same time raising money for fantastic causes.”  He added, “I support the Foundation wholeheartedly; it is an important part of the Manchester community and does a lot to give back.”

Participants embraced the Christmas spirit by dressing up for the occasion and ran to raise money for charities close to their hearts, including the Foundation and the Club’s charity partners, Francis House Children’s Hospice, The Christie and UNICEF.

Joanne Mellor’s daughter, Katie, attends Francis House in Didsbury for respite care and her family took part in the run along with friends they have made at the hospice.  Joanne said, “Katie loved the fun run, especially when all the cars started beeping their horns as we went along the route.”  She added, “The atmosphere and the fact that so many people are raising money for charity make it a really special event.”

The winner of the 5K race, 27 year-old Ben Zebrowski from Rossendale, completed the run in just 22 minutes and said it was the perfect way to end a whole year of challenges to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis and the Brain and Spine Foundation: “My mate Matt and I have been doing a charity event a month for the past year such as sky dives, swims and bike rides.  This was our final challenge, a nice festive one to finish with.  Combined we have raised just over £3000 for our charities which are both very close to our hearts.  Winning was a great bonus!”

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