A team of 50 firefighters and staff from Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service are swapping their fire kit for Santa suits for the world’s biggest festive fun run.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is supporting The Medicash Santa Dash Liverpool 2015 as a way to promote well-being in the workplace and encourage its staff to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

The 12th annual Medicash Santa Dash Liverpool takes place on Sunday, 6th December starting at 9.30am from Pier Head Liverpool.

The 5K fun run route takes Santas through the city centre, before they enjoy a festive grandstand finish outside Liverpool Town Hall.

The 1K Mini Dash for youngsters aged 12 and under starts in Castle Street at approximately 11am, once the main Santa Dash has finished.

Liverpool earned the World Santa Challenge title last year when 8,846 Santas took part – making it the world’s biggest festive fun run. Las Vegas had held the title since 2011. Now organisers BTR Liverpool are hoping to attract 10,000 Santas to keep the title in Liverpool.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is taking part in the Santa Dash for the eight consecutive year.

The team is made up of operational and support staff, and also includes six Community Support Apprentices who are raising funds for The Fire Fighters Charity, the leading provider of services to enhance quality of life for serving and retired fire service personnel and their families.

The fundraising apprentices are John Bilbao, Isaac Santos-Munn, Lewis Reid, Emily Thomson, Ellie Williams and Alexander Williams, who are stationed at Wallasey, Belle Vale, Sefton and St Helens community fire stations.

Group manager Gary Oakford said:

“We use the Santa Dash as a fantastic way to encourage healthy and active lifestyles at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service. We started taking part in 2008 following our hosting of the World Firefighters Games in Liverpool the same year, and now the Santa Dash has become a real highlight of our year. It’s a fun way for us to take part in an activity together as a team.

“My personal favourite part of the Santa Dash is at the top of the Dale Street flyover, looking back towards Liverpool Town Hall – it’s an extremely uplifting sight and gives you a real sense of being part of something special.

“The Santa Dash is a key event in the city’s calendar, it has real spirit. The Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Santas are looking forward to joining you all on the start line on 6 December.”

The Santa Dash is open to all, attracting individuals; families; charity runners; and corporate organisations. Wheelchair participants and prams are welcome.

BTR Liverpool is the leading independent organisation for creating, managing and delivering headline race events in Liverpool City Region. Its growing portfolio includes the Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon, Tour Of Merseyside, Tunnel 10K and award-winning Wirral Half Marathon/10K.

The official charity partners are Radio City’s Cash For Kids; Claire House Children’s Hospice; Everton in the Community; Jospice; and Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation – who are the five BTR Footsteps Fundraisers charities.

The BTR Footsteps Fundraisers initiative brings the charities together through BTR’s key race events by encouraging participants to fundraise and support them. Funds raised will be split equally between the five charities. Sponsor forms are available from BTR Liverpool or fundraisers can set up an online fundraising page at www.everydayhero.co.uk/event/supportbtrfootsteps

Register for the Santa Dash at BTR Liverpool, 23 Hatton Garden, Liverpool, L3 2FE – BTR is now open seven days a week for Santa suit collection. For more details visit www.btrliverpool.com

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