Brighter Futures and Swindon Phoenix Rotary Club launches virtual Santa vs Rudolph run for 2020

By Jamie Hill - 23 September 2020


Brighter Futures and Swindon Phoenix Rotary Club launches virtual Santa vs Rudolph run for 2020 – run when and where it suits you

This Christmas Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s charity, Brighter Futures, in partnership with Swindon Phoenix Rotary Club, is bringing back the hugely successful Santa versus Rudolph Run that started in 2019.

The event was launched yesterday at Coate Water Park and this year the charities have worked around the COVID-19 pandemic to organise a virtual run.

The event takes place from Saturday 28 November until Boxing Day and you can take part by running, walking or jogging a choice of distances on the route of your choice.

You can choose three, five or ten kilometres distances, all while dressed in your best Christmas outfits. The only question is whether you will be team Santa or team Rudolf. Anybody who takes part should be encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines to protect themselves and others.  

All funds raised will be donated to Brighter Futures and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance. Across the Trust, the money will be used to improve the hospital environment, fund ground breaking research, support the development and training of hospital staff and provide state-of-the-art equipment.

Michelle Leighton, Community and Events Manager for Brighter Futures, said: “We are really pleased to launch the new event today and that we have found a safe way for people to take part, have fun and raise some money.

“Since the pandemic began, all charities’ income has been heavily impacted and every single penny raised will help to save lives locally.

“This year we are aware of how much local running club members have been missing races since the pandemic started, so we are offering a bit of local rivalry. Make sure you upload your run via the Strava app afterwards and your club could be in with a chance of winning. We will compile and publish a weekly leaderboard – with one club crowned champions of each distance on Boxing Day.

“We hope to see just as many, if not more, of you take part this year and we would like to thank the whole community for their continued support.”

Darren Crannis, President of The Rotary Club of Swindon Phoenix, said: “I’m absolutely delighted and excited to be part of this great partnership between the Rotary Club of Swindon Phoenix, Brighter Futures and Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

“Our first festive event working together in 2019 was such a great success raising over £14,000. I’m extremely proud of the people of Swindon for supporting us and I know this will continue with our Virtual 2020 festive run.  

“Our organisers have worked tremendously hard to ensure we can continue this great event in a safe environment and I’m so proud of all who’s helped. 

“I’ve entered with my family and I look forward to seeing the photos and videos of our virtual runners taking part in a safe way.”

For more information about how to take part in the race or any other fundraising for Brighter Futures, please visit

Registration for the run -

Information about the run -

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