Every December, the Variety Club seeks to raise $250,000 for disadvantaged children by holding Santa Runs in many cities in Australia. The Variety Club clearly wants all who register to have fun. Its website says: “The Variety Santa Fun Run is the jolliest fun run of the year and your chance to join thousands of other Santas to spread the spirit of Christmas to Aussie kids in need. You can run, walk, roll or skip it, dance to entertainment along the way, make a splash on social media, and post a Santa selfie!”
Just to make sure that the message is not lost, Variety dresses every competitor in a 5-piece Santa Suit. On Sunday 6th December 3 vision-impaired Achilles members and their guides completed the Sydney Santa Run by frolicking from Circular Quay to Pyrmont and back. Several thousand laughing Santas certainly gave the city an early-morning lift.
Zhila Hasanloo was guided by Michael Levy. It has been a year of “firsts” for Zhila: “My first season with Achilles, my first 5K race and the first time I have run wearing a beard!” It was also the first time that Zhila had been guided by Michael in a community event.
Stephen Green ran with usual guide Enrique Suana. Not surprisingly, the pair edged to the front of the starting pack. Their efforts were rewarded with a brief glimpse on the Channel 7 News later in the day. Stephen reported the course as being “good for vision-impaired runners, full of friendly people obviously having fun and supported by cheering, supportive crowds.”
Andrew Van Der Saag and guide Jen Hague are accomplished runners but had fun with Jen acting as unofficial photographers for the run, taking pictures along most of the course.
Achilles is grateful to the Variety Club in making our runners very welcome.
Our mission is to enable people from all walks of life, including those with physical impairments, to enjoy the health giving benefits of walking and running in a supportive, social and encouraging environment.