Local people brought glad tidings to the rain-swept St Albans streets on Sunday December 5 as our Rudolph Run returned to the city. The festive fundraiser went virtual last year, but participants were thrilled to see the COVID-safe live event return this year, along with a virtual offering for participants to do any time over the festive period.
Senior Community Fundraiser Gemma Ralph said: “It was so lovely to see people turning out in their best festive attire, topped off with reindeer antlers. We really missed this last year and we’d like to thank everyone who took part and volunteered to help on the day.”
We made some changes to the event to keep participants safe, such as giving the 1.5K and 5K fun runners staggered start times to avoid overcrowding.
Rudolph Run participant Rosa Johnson, from St Albans, said: “I’ve lived in St Albans all my life and we’ve been doing this event for 10 years. Before I had my daughter, Olive, my mum and I did the 5K to raise money. Then when Olive came along we took her in the pushchair and we’ve done the event ever since.”
“Rennie Grove is a really lovely, local charity and this has always marked our festive period – this is our first festive event and it’s when the Christmas tree goes up!”
There were also some new runners taking part, like Natalia from St Albans. She said: “As a family this is our first run together. It’s a fun event for the children and I want them to feel part of the community.”
Many runners also had a personal connection with our services, like Lloyd, whose father was cared for by our hospice at home team. Lloyd said: “I watched the Rudolph Run two years ago when my other half did it, but this is my first time. We love running, we do the local park run every week, and it’s just a bit of fun to take part.”
Our volunteers handed out medals and rang the runners over the line with festive bells. St Albans resident Pam, who has volunteered for us for five years, said: “We enjoy the Rudolph Run every year, we love that all the children take part. It’s so good to see a family outing that costs so little.”
All funds raised by the Rudolph Run will go towards supporting local families affected by life-limiting illness.
“Our hospice at home nurses can visit patients in their own home any time of the day and night,” says Gemma. “Having that level of care and support can help prevent hospital admissions and give more families the chance to spend what could be their last Christmas together at home.”