I think I'm a few posts overdue, so since I've got a few days before heading back home, will be updating daily.
Last Sunday morning was wet and cold. Just like any normal morning in Liverpool around this time of year. The only difference was the city was dotted with specks of red.
The Liverpool Santa Dash 2007 was on, and if you're wondering what it would take to get grown-ups and children together on a wet morning, this would be it.
A 5km run for charity in full Santa regalia, complete with white whiskers. Definitely something to try at least once. And to be honest, we were more excited about the novelty of running as Santa than contributing to various charities! We being Ed, Jack, HP, Richard, AiWei, Gil and myself.
The other fun thing was that Liverpool was out to regain the crown for the most Santas completing the run from Las Vegas; we were aiming for around 7000 Santas or so.
It certainly seemed like Liverpool tried its best to meet the challenge. On the morning, there were so many Santas it was hard trying to pick one another out from amongst the crowd! Ed brought along his blue backpack and I wore a white Santa hat in a effort to stand out (haha knew the hat would come in useful someday squeaks and shubz!).
At the starting line, Santas of all shapes and sizes gathered. An obviously pumped-up chairperson led the proceedings, urging us to smile for the camera, reminding us that the sky, previously dark and cloudy had now turned to rays of sun, and that "God was in His heaven", wounding up by a frantic cheer for Liverpool, set us off.
And so the huffing and puffing began.
I'm not fit at the best of times, and this wasn't me at my best, so I settled down to a steady pace, jogging alongside Gil and Ed. Jack and HP meanwhile, had disappeared into the sea of Santas. Ai Wei and Richard hung back, preferring to take things easy. As we wound along the streets of Liverpool, we encountered various curious bystanders who cheered us on. Cars honked at us, either irritated that we were blocking the roads, or encouraging us on.
About halfway through, some Santas were beginning to flag. We passed by a number of Santas who were busily disrobing. Off came Santa cloaks and whiskers. No one complained about the cold, everyone was busy trying to cool down. Judging by the numerous plastic belts and hats littering the road, more than one Santa was more concerned with finishing the run than how they looked.
On we puffed, till we rounded a corner and saw the finish line ahead. With a blower emitting gusts of fake snow, and an enthusiastic chap on a loudspeaker, we crossed the finish line in fine style.
Looking back, I saw people in wheelchairs, people running with kids, people pushing prams and a whole contingent of schoolchildren. The pubs were full of Santas that morning. As for us, we headed to a pub for some food. Fish and chips never tasted better.