Join the race to raise funds for meningitis

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A SANTA run will be coming to two villages for the first time to raise money for charity.

The event has been organised by John Tanton in memory of his son Mark who died last year from a rare strain of meningitis. Money raised at the event will go towards Meningitis UK which is dedicated to finding a vaccine to eradicate all forms of the disease.

It will take place around the villages of Flore and Nether Heyford on Sunday, December 4, with competitors getting the chance to win a cash prize by catching Mike Aldridge, a top country and national runner.

John said: “It is obviously coming up to Christmas and it is a hard time of year for our family so we wanted to focus on something.

“Mark had a terrific sense of humour and loved Christmas so I think doing an event like this is something that he would have approved of.”

There will be a five-mile race between the two villages along partially closed roads. There will also be a children’s half mile and a novice one-mile race.

John added: “The response from people has been really good. We have had 50 people sign up to the event and there are plenty more who said they will take part but have not registered yet.”

It is just one of many charity events that have been organised to raise money for Meningitis, with £5,000 raised at a triathlon held earlier in the year.

A total of around £20,000 has been raised in total for the Mark Tanton Memorial Fund through fundraising activities by other groups.

John added: “In the short term, I would say book in advance to guarantee yourself a Santa suit, but we want people to help with the fundraising.

No running experience is necessary for the event but all contestants must wear full Santa costumes and beards throughout the race.

For more details about the event, visit www.onyour marksevents.org.