I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
There are many fun runs around, but how many of them get you to dress up like Santa? The Santa Fun Run does. The event is hosted by Variety – the Children's Charity, a not-for-profit organisation committed to empowering sick, disadvantaged and special needs children in Australia. This year will be the fourth time it has run the event.
Participating in a Santa Fun Run doesn't require you to run far - typically around five kilometres - which is fair enough since you are required to run the event in your official five-piece Variety Santa Suit (which is, of course, an outfit typically worn in the north pole). This suit is included in the price of registration and there are sizes for both adults and children (those too young to run can still get a Santa hat).
There are many locations around the country where you can participate in a Santa Fun Run during November. In almost all cases, the event will be held exactly a month before Christmas, on Sunday November 25. Registration costs vary.
Sydney The Sydney event will start at 9.00am at Palm Grove in Darling Harbour. The run will then make its way around the water's edge through Pyrmont and finish at Tumbalong Park, where a Santa's Festival will be held. Registration is $40 for adults (13 years and above) and $25 for children (3-12 years). You can also get discounts on both prices if you register a team of 10 or more.
Newcastle In Newcastle, the run will commence at 10.00am at Newcastle Yacht Club in Wickham and finish at Newcastle Queens Wharf Brewery. Registration for this event costs $25 per person, with families paying $50. You can also register a corporate team of 10 for $200.
Port Macquarie This event will take place a week earlier than the others, on Sunday November 18. It starts at Westport Park (near the boat ramp) and finishes at Town Green. Like in Newcastle, registration costs $25 per person, $50 for a family and $200 for corporate teams.
Canberra The Canberra event commences at 9.00am at Reconciliation Place (below Old Parliament House), before making its way around the water's edge of Lake Burley Griffin and finishing at Reconciliation Place with the Santa Festival. Adult registrations (13 years and older) cost $30, children (3-12 years) cost $15 and families cost $75. There are discounts for teams of 10 or more.
Melbourne Two events will take place in Melbourne, with a ten kilometre run being held in addition to usual five kilometre event. Adult registration (12 years and older) for this event costs $35.00, children (3-11 years) cost $10 and families cost $80. Team discounts apply on adults prices. The event begins on Palms Lawn, Aquatic Drive, at Albert Park and heads around Albert Park Lake.
Brisbane The Brisbane Santa Fun Run is an early one, commencing at 7.00am at Kurilpa Point Park. From here you will make your way through South Bank, across the river, along the water's edge and back over the river again to finish at Kurilpa Point Park. Adult (13 years and older) registration costs $40, children (3-12 years) cost $25 and families cost $100. Discounts apply for teams.
Darwin Darwin's Variety Santa Fun Run only goes for two kilometres, taking place at the Darwin Waterfront precinct at 9.00am. Adult registration (13 years and older) costs $30, children (2-12 years) cost $10 and families cost $70. A team of ten can be registered for $250, with additional members $25 each.
Perth The Perth run will take place in the streets of Fremantle, beginning at The Esplanade. Adults registration (13 years and older) costs $40 and children (6-12 years) have been discounted to $5. Kids between 0-5 years run for free, but can still get a Santa hat. In teams of 10 or more, adult registration costs $35.
The Adelaide Santa Fun Run, which only goes for four kilometres, will commence at 9.30am on the Riverbank Lawns outside the Adelaide Convention Centre and head around the Torrens River. Entertainment for everyone will commence from 8.15am. Adult registration (13 years and above) costs $30. Everyone 12 years and under is free, but still gets a Santa hat.
You should get to the events early for registration (check the website to see what time you are expected). Suits can typically be collected on the day, but there are often other pick-up options. Prizes will also be given at some events, in categories such as 'highest fundraiser', 'first male to finish' and 'first female to finish'. But even if there's no physical reward at your local event, you will still be running for a great cause, so get yourself some sponsors and register online.