Dundee Santa Dash: Father Christmases can ‘ho-ho-hop’ on to city buses free

Santa, aka Garry Smith, jumps for joy at the news of free travel for Father Christmases.

A sleigh pulled by a team of reindeer may be Santa’s traditional choice of transport.

But this year, bus operator Xplore Dundee is offering anyone taking part in the city’s first Santa Dash free travel on its services.

The firm will allow participants dressed in costume to board without charge on the day of the event. Xplore is encouraging members of the public to sign up for the dash, which is raising money for the Archie Foundation.

Elsie Turbyne, the operator’s managing director, said: “We are delighted to support Dundee’s first Santa Dash — it sounds like it will be fantastic family fun and is in aid of a very worthy local cause.

“We’re encouraging all the Santas to leave their sleighs at home, give the reindeer a rest and catch the bus into the city centre for free travel to this excellent event.”

The Santa Dash is a 2km route around the city centre that can be completed once or twice.

The event, which is open to all ages, takes place on Sunday November 26 at 10.30am.

People who register will receive a Santa suit — or a hat for those aged under five — a finisher’s medal, certificate and a goodie bag.

Sinclair Aitken, chairman of Leisure and Culture Dundee, which is organising the event, said: “It’s amazing to hear how the whole city is getting behind our Santa Dash, and we are very grateful to Xplore Dundee for the generous offer of free bus travel for all the Santas taking part.

“This will make it easy for runners and families to get to the event from all over Dundee and is yet another reason to sign up to help raise lots of cash.”

Money generated by the dash will go to the Archie Foundation, the official charity of Tayside Children’s Hospital, which is bidding to raise £2 million for a twin theatre operating suite at Ninewells Hospital.

To sign up, visit leisureand culturedundee.com/santadash, or do so in person at Olympia, Douglas Sports Centre and DISC before the November 22 deadline.

An online fundraising page has also been launched for donations in partnership with Virgin Money Giving — and a link to it can be found immediately below the one for signing up to the Santa Dash.