THE biggest event of the Brighter Futures calendar returns in just four weeks.

More than 800 people took part in last year’s famous Reindeer Run and it looks set to sell-out again this year., so sign up quickly before it's too late.

After completing a brisk 5km run, jog or walk which loops around Coate Water and leads towards the hospital, all participants can enjoy a room full of hot drinks, mince pies and top festive entertainment.

More than £15,000 has been raised for the charity through the event over the years and the money has gone to the Radiotherapy Appeal, Special Care Baby Unit Appeal, and to various other good causes which help improve the hospital.

Catherine Newman, head of fundraising at Brighter Futures, said: “I adore Christmas – I’d have my tree up all year if I could.

“For us, the Reindeer Run marks the point where the festive season really gets going, it's our big official Christmas event.

“I love it, it’s amazing to see a huge crowd of people all with their antlers on or in all sorts of brilliant costumes or wearing their cosy Christmas jumpers.

"Dogs are allowed on the route and even they get dressed up.

“The atmosphere is really nice, everyone’s excited and in a good mood, there’s Christmas music playing and a countdown to the start of the run, it’s great.

“This is a really fun healthy event that the whole family can enjoy at their own pace.

“We’ve had people in their 90s taking part and babies in their pushchairs, anyone of any age can take part and it’s done incredibly well over they years.

“We’re encouraging people to sign up and get behind this event - and we’ve had a lot of people join already.”

Every year, the organisers asked for a brave volunteer to dress in their carrot costume and run ahead so that the hundreds of other runners could chase him all along the route.

After all, what would a Reindeer Run be without a carrot for Rudolph?

Phil Jeffries donned the costume last year and has already offered to wear it again for this year’s run.

He said: “Catch me if you can!

“I have been in serious training and am ready to go.

"You reindeer will need to be quick!"

The 2018 Reindeer Run begins at Coate Water on Sunday December 2 at 10am.

Entry costs £10 per adult and £7.50 for child under-16. Under-fives go free.

Anyone who wishes to sponsor their run should aim to raise at least £50.

All entrants get a free pair or red antlers to wear. Fancy dress is optional but encouraged.

To sign up, visit

Carers and disabled runners should call 01793 605631 to enter.