Who knew running off your turkey dinner could do so much good? 

Well, the hundreds of runners who took part in the Boxing Day Run at Hindhead did. They have helped raise a record amount of money for Holy Cross Hospital. A cheque for £5,200 was presented to Frances Campion-Smith, the charity’s chief executive, by run organiser Matt Dellar.

The Run has come a long way since the first race took place in the 1980s. Every year its popularity has grown and from just a handful runners, the latest Boxing Day Run attracted more than 530 participants. 

Hindhead Boxing Day Run 2023
(Photo supplied)

Matt Dellar said: “The Boxing Day Run has become something of a fixture in the local calendar of events and is normally a sell-out. September is when I usually receive the first enquiries from people asking if the run is happening.

“What’s lovely about the Boxing Day Run is that you get all sorts of people entering. 

“There are those who train specifically for it, there are runners who enter with the aim of beating their personal best and you also get family groups who enter every year because it has become a tradition – in fact I can think of one family whose girls were about five or six when they first entered and now, they are at university!

“I understand from Matt that the tradition of donating the proceeds of the run to Holy Cross dates back to the early 90s,” said Frances Campion-Smith. “Over the years, the run has raised tens of thousands of pounds for Holy Cross which has been spent on items that improve our patients’ quality of life.

Hindhead Boxing Day Run
(Photo supplied)

“Previous donations have contributed to a new minibus, sensory equipment, a pool hoist, improvements to the holiday home used by patients in Selsey and much, much more. This year, we intend to put the money towards improving our courtyard sensory garden, or making some adaptations to the treehouse so it can be used all year round by patients and their families.

“The cheque was a wonderful sum of money, and I thank all the runners, the sponsors, the volunteers who marshal the run, and of course Matt and his family for putting on such a magnificent event.”

Thanks to sponsorship from Wilson Electrical Distributors Ltd, The Sports Locker, Show Hire, Race Timing Solutions and Transform Landscapes, and support from the Devil’s Punchbowl Hotel, the Hogs Back Brewery and the National Trust, all proceeds from the run are donated to Holy Cross Hospital. The hospital provides care for people with complex neurological disabilities resulting from injuries or medical episodes.