'Twas the lead up to Christmas, and in Winchester's fair city
The decorations were up, making everywhere look pretty.
Customers were gathering round ev'ry shop and market stall
But something strange was going on at Winchester's Guild Hall.
What to passers-by's wondering eyes should appear
But 500 people dressed as Santa, full of festive cheer?
For Winchester was hosting a charity Santa Run
And I was there at the Guild Hall, to join in the fun.
I'd expected the costume to be either 'large' 'medium' or 'small'
But instead there was one size that fitted no-one at all.
From my head to my foot I was dressed all in red
With a hat barely perched on the top of my head.
The top was designed for those with a giant round belly
(It kept slipping off as I ran like 'twas made out of jelly.)
While the fake beard was elastic held together by bristle
The thin felt trousers seemed as solid as the down of a thistle.
A large arch marked both the start and finish line,
Inflated by a generator, held in place with twine.
A man stood on the steps, speaking into a megaphone
But no-one could hear him above the generator's moan.
Then from the starting horn there rose such a clatter
The race had begun - no more time left to chatter.
Through the Start Arch, leaving behind the Guild Hall
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!
I was at the front, and had no time to wait
And soon passed the statue of Alfred the Great
Away towards the watermill I flew like a flash,
Turned right at the river and continued to dash.
Running by the River Itchen in a Santa suit was weird
But appropriately-named for wearing a cheap, fake beard.
Sprinting passed the households we runners all flew
Passing Wolvesey Castle and Winchester College too.
More rapid than eagles, I ran so lively and quick,
With other fellow runners all dressed as St Nick.
The crowds, how they applauded, the children, how merry
Cheering on each runner dressed red like a cherry.
We reached the furthest point out, and turning around,
Towards the Cathedral we all headed back with a bound.
The loose-fitting costumes were clung onto with care,
While we thought of the finish, hoping soon to be there.
Soon first the Cathedral then City Museum came into view
As we started dodging market stalls and shoppers too.
The Santa Clauses were now truly coming to town
As through the shopping precinct we, weaving, ran down.
I ensured I gave all pedestrians plenty of space
With the finish arch approaching, I increased my pace.
From the top of the hill finishing at the Guild Hall,
We spread Christmas cheer to one and to all.
But I heard a young hoodie exclaim as I ran out of sight
Words I won't repeat here, as they weren't very polite.
- Christmas Demands
- Christmas Morals
- Christmas, Christmas, Christmas
- War at Christmas
- While Shepherds Washed Their Socks