He’ll be past you in a flash of fairy lights … so watch out for the sensational Running Santa in the Colne Valley again this year.

The kind-hearted bloke in the costume is James Carter, secretary at Linthwaite Football Club, who is running 10km every day from tomorrow (Sunday, Nov 26) when he’ll be turning on Linthwaite Christmas Lights at the bottom of Causeway Side at 4.30pm.

James will run every day until Christmas Eve. Over the 25 days he’ll notch up just over 155 miles.

On December 24 Running Santa will slow down to walk the 10km route with a team of supporters pushing a shopping trolley, collecting food donations from people.

This is the fourth year Running Santa has done the run for local food banks, raising £8,760 over the last three years.

This year he’s running in aid of two Colne Valley food banks – Cowlersley Community Support based at Storth House CIC on Cowlersley Lane, Cowlersley, and Colne Valley Help based at Slaithwaite Fire Station in Slaithwaite.

Running Santa’s target this year is to raise £3,240 bringing his grand total over four years to £12,000. Not bad for someone who hadn’t run before the pandemic.

The Running Santa is so fast he makes the pictures blurry!

James said: “Back in 2020 in the mists of Covid-19 I started my running journey. This was the time when you were only allowed out to do your shopping and exercise and before then I hadn’t run a single kilometre.

“In the spring I started running 1km, 3km, 5km and then up to 10km. When the nights started to get darker in October and November I spoke with my two boys about how I could light myself up, ensuring I was visible by cars.

“From this we laughed about running with fairy lights which is where I came up with the idea to do it as Running Santa. At the same time Slaithwaite Mutual, which became Colne Valley Help Food Bank, opened its doors and was looking for donations.”

If you see Santa out on his dash, please beep your horn, wave at him, spread the word and share the Christmas spirit, helping him to raise much-needed funds.

For more information about Running Santa go to his Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/ColneValleyRunningSanta

To donate go to https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/colne-valley-running-santa

Santa’s 10k route takes him up Cowlersley Lane to Broad Oak then down Causeway Side to Manchester Road before dropping down into Slaithwaite on Britannia Road and going on Carr Lane and New Street before coming back through the village on the same roads and on Manchester Road to Linthwaite and back to Cowlersley, finishing where he started in Bowling Street.

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.