On your marks … get set … Ho Ho Ho!

Santa abseiled into Melbourne today to launch Variety Victoria’s second annual Santa Fun Run. Variety spokesperson Doug Christie, Rudolph the Reindeer and a group of Variety assisted children were present to witness three fearless Father Christmases descend down the side of Media House on Collins Street.

A sea of Santas and Christmas cheer will take over the streets of Melbourne for the fun run which takes off at 9am on Sunday 5 December.

Over 2,000 participants of all ages are expected to put on their runners and Santa suits, embrace the festive spirit and do some valuable FUNdraising to support children in need.

Building on the success of the inaugural event last year with a brand new route around Docklands, the Santa Fun Run 2010 will start and finish at Waterfront City. Individuals, families and community groups of all abilities will be given the option of running, walking, wheeling or jingling all the way around either a five kilometre or 10 kilometre course.

All money raised will go towards funding Variety Victoria’s invaluable work in assisting disadvantaged and special needs children.

A registration fee of $30 per person will apply with all Santas then being encouraged to seek sponsorship donations online with the support of GoFundraise in order to hit their fundraising target.

All participants will receive a complimentary, official, five-piece Variety Santa Suit to ensure they look the part.

Marathon runner, gold medallist and event ambassador Steve Moneghetti said: “I’m delighted to be involved with Variety Victoria’s Santa Fun Run. This is a fun event for the whole family. I’ll be bringing my wife, Tanya, and my four children along to run for this great cause. I’ve participated in 22 international marathons throughout my career but I’m sure this will be the most unusual of them all … and a lot of fun!”

On the day, participants will be able to take advantage of free massages and a delicious sausage sizzle as well as being delighted by live Christmas themed entertainment and of course the arrival of the REAL Santa Claus!

Variety Victoria Board member and international ambassador Doug Christie said: “The Santa Fun Run aims to bring the community together in support of sick, disadvantaged and special needs kids. It’s a great way to spread the word about the brilliant work that Variety Victoria does and all money raised will go towards helping children in need to live, laugh and learn. We encourage everyone to take part in this fantastic event and are hoping the people of Victoria will be there with Christmas bells on.”

Registrations for the Santa Fun Run 2010 close Friday 3 December at 5pm or register on the day at Waterfront City from 7am.

For more information visit www.varietysantafunrun.com.au