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Hundreds of would-be Santa Claus run down Athens to raise money

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By Euronews  with AP
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People wearing Santa Claus costumes take part in the Athens Santa Run, in Athens, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021.
People wearing Santa Claus costumes take part in the Athens Santa Run, in Athens, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021.   -   Copyright  Yorgos Karahalis / AP

Hundreds of people dressed up as Santa Claus took part in Athens' seventh charity Santa Run on Sunday.

Participants ran a non-timed 2-kilometre course around the Greek capital's Olympic Athletic Centre, and for the first time organisers provided Santa uniforms for children wanting to enjoy the day.

"It's a great opportunity to have air at least. The children are very happy because they were stuck inside our homes because of Covid. I hope in the future it will be better," said Eleni Aneionou, one of the participants.

"Well after the lockdown it's fun to be in a place with many people to celebrate Christmas. To be enjoying life, enjoying liberty, which comes from the freedom and health," another participant added.

Although participants pay €12 each, most of the money raised comes from corporate sponsorships.

The proceeds raised by the race will go to Make-A-Wish Greece, a foundation that is part of Make-A-Wish International and grants the wishes of critically ill children aged from 2½ to 18 years old.

This year's Santa Run was the first since 2019 after the event was canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.