There's no ho ho holding back sprightly Santas

A SEA of Santas flooded into a frozen Princes Street Gardens to take part in the Great Scottish Santa Run.

Despite the horrendous weather earlier in the week, which prevented some participants from coming to the Capital to take part, more than 800 Santas of all ages turned out for the charity event yesterday.

Council workers were out early in the morning gritting the route, although competitors were advised at the start of the event to walk in a bid to avoid any accidents.

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A few seconds after the start, however, more adventurous Santas were jogging round the circuit, led by Edinburgh Marathon man Mark Cooper.

Mr Cooper, 27, of Portobello, said: "This was the first time I had taken part and the atmosphere was just fantastic, really relaxed. It was great."

The Santa Run was expected to raise up to 20,000 for the children's charity When You Wish Upon a Star, which specialises in making dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses.

Margaret Rowarth, Scottish appeals manager for the charity, said: "This event has a magical atmosphere and people are always so charitable. The support has been incredible and all money raised will go to grant the wishes of Scottish children in 2011.

"The council deserve special thanks as well for making sure the paths were all properly gritted."