A record turnout for Boxing Day pudding run

Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell starts the annual Boxing Day Woodlawn Christmas Pudding Fun Run.
Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell starts the annual Boxing Day Woodlawn Christmas Pudding Fun Run.
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A record number of people pounded the streets to run off any Christmas excess.

A total of 1,066 people took part in the annual Boxing Day Woodlawn Xmas Pudding Fun Run – a 21 per cent increase on last year’s 881 runners – with a delayed start by the time all runners were registered.

The run was started by Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell with most participants receiving a goody bag at the end containing a Christmas pudding and certificate as organisers ran out of bags.

Brenda Boyd, secretary of Woodlawn School’s Parents & Friends Association, said: “Over the years the number of people taking part has increased gradually. This huge jump in participants was wonderful but unexpected.

“We ran out of puddings and certificates. Thankfully everybody was really good about it and many runners regifted their puddings to people who crossed the line after them.

“We’d like to thank everyone who took part for their great good humour and effort, including all those who helped organise and marshall the Run.”

Mr Campbell, who has started the Run every year since 1997, said: “It’s an honour to be asked to start this race. It’s for excellent causes and is a real community effort. I want to say well done to the organisers and everyone who took part.”

For the second year running the first man home was Callum Johnson, of Gateshead Harriers, in 15minutes 24seconds. The first lady was Danielle Hodgkinson, of Birchfield, in 17mins 25secs.

Registration took place at Whitley Bay Comrades Club, where warm drinks were available.

John Brettell, of North Shields Poly Athletics Club, who helped organise the run, said: “We are grateful to Lyn Tait and her Committee at the Comrades Club for their help and cooperatio.

“This is the third year we’ve had such invaluable great help from the Comrades Club and we are very grateful.”

The annual Fun Run is jointly organised by Woodlawn School Parents & Friends Association and North Shields Poly Athletics Club, and supported by Start Fitness.

Potts Printers provided the certificates and posters publicising the Run and this year Sainsbury’s Whitley Bay donated 810 individual puddings to the Run.

WPFA treasurer Janine Finnie said: “Buying the puddings is the most expensive part of putting on the Run. Sainsbury’s kind donation will help us raise so much more for the School.”

North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team provided first aid cover for the Run.

Woodlawn, in Drumoyne Gardens, West Monkseaton, is a school for children from two to 18-years-old with physical, medical and sensory needs.

Woodlawn’s Xmas Pudding Fun Run has taken place on all but two Boxing Days since 1985. Snow and ice saw the 2009 Run postponed to February and 2010’s cancelled altogether.