The latest Coronavirus national lockdown has forced a date change for the BTR Virtual Liverpool Santa Dash this December.
Organisers BTR Liverpool announced in September that the annual festive spectacular would this year change format to become a virtual event due to the ongoing global pandemic and strict social distancing guidelines.
However, as the country heads into a second lockdown, the BTR team find themselves having to adapt the event once again.
The BTR Virtual Liverpool Santa Dash will now take place on Sunday 20 December 2020.
The Santa Dash pop-up shop which was due to open in Williamson Square mid-November has now also been postponed to December. The shop falls into the non-essential retail category and is therefore not permitted under lockdown rules.
The shop will now provisionally open on Wednesday 2 December through to Saturday 19 December, providing lockdown restrictions have been lifted. The shop will be open daily and give participants two weeks to collect their Santa suits, run number and bespoke medal, as well as giving others a chance to register in person.
This year, BTR has also introduced a postage service. Everything can be sent out direct to participants for a small charge when registering online.
More than 1,000 Santas have already registered, including entrants from across the world – making it an international virtual event.
Overseas entries will include Santas dashing in Australia, Denmark, Dubai, Germany, Ireland, Isle Of Man, Sweden, and the United States of America – who will all run in their own community.
Highly regarded as the city’s kick-start to Christmas, this year’s event marks the 17th consecutive year of the Liverpool Santa Dash.
Due to the size and scale of the Liverpool Santa Dash in its usual guise, instead of cancelling like most other running events in 2020, BTR felt that changing the event into a virtual run this year would still allow Santas to dash wherever they are located while maintaining social distancing – enabling them to still get their festive fix.
Eight charities will benefit first-hand as the official event charities, and BTR Liverpool has pledged to split the Santa Dash profits equally between the group of good causes.
BTR Liverpool has joined forces with Alder Hey Children’s Charity, Claire House Children’s Hospice, Clatterbridge Cancer Charity, Marie Curie, North West Air Ambulance Charity, Nugent, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, and Wirral University Teaching Hospital Charity.
BTR Liverpool has also created an online Snowflake Wall, another new festive addition to the Santa Dash for 2020.
The digital message board is open to everyone. People are being encouraged to post good wishes for anyone they know taking part, charities, or a message from themselves as a dashing Santa.
The Snowflake Wall can be found on the BTR website by visiting https://www.btrliverpool.com/snowflake-wall
The BTR Liverpool Santa Dash was created by BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell and was first staged in 2004. A separate 1K Mini Dash for under 12s was added in 2007, and blue Santa suits were introduced three years later.
BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented: “We are living in the midst of a global pandemic so when guidelines change, we must all adapt. We’re working hard to ensure that everyone has a positive virtual Santa Dash experience, and we’re ready to get going and open the pop-up show once we’re given the green light.
“Every entry really does count as we’re splitting the profits between our eight very worthwhile and inspiring charities. Charities have been hit extremely hard by the pandemic so let’s give them a boost. Participants will be making a massive difference simply by registering – the more Santas we have the more the charities will benefit from funds to help continue their vital work.
“We may be going virtual this year but on Sunday 20 December we can all still dress up, dash, take on our own personal 5K, earn a brilliant new medal, and know that we are making a significant contribution towards the work of eight incredible charities. It will be different but let’s still make it special. Pull on your trainers, belt up that Santa suit – and walk, jog, or run the BTR Virtual Liverpool Santa Dash wherever you can.”
BTR Liverpool is the leading independent organisation for creating, managing and delivering headline race events across Liverpool City Region. Its growing portfolio also includes the BTR Liverpool Skyline Half Marathon; BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K; BTR Port Sunlight 5K and 10K; and 52-mile BTR Tour Of Merseyside.
To register for the BTR Liverpool Santa Dash visit www.btrliverpool.com