79-year-old Santa runs for Rainbows

Just weeks before his 80th birthday, Owen Devine is set to take on the Derby Santa Run in aid of Rainbows.

Owen, who only started running three years ago, will join hundreds of Santas at our event at Elvaston Castle on Sunday 9 December. Along with his daughter Louise Monange (50), Owen will don his red Santa suit and take on the 7km route. 

The 79-year-old, of Belper, says it will be fitting training for when he takes on the Derby 10k next year.

“We saw the Santa Run and thought it looked great. I was laughing that I wanted to be running when I was 80,” said father of five Owen. “This event is for such a good cause and it will be great to know we are helping the children who are cared for at Rainbows.”

Owen, who turns 80 on January 21, was introduced to running by his son Andrew, three years ago. He is now a member of Belper Running Club and in June, Louise challenged her father to run 50 miles over the month, which he successfully completed. 

Former IT worker for Rolls-Royce and the NHS Owen added: “I have taken part in a Santa run several years ago for a different charity and I enjoyed it. I am really looking forward to this event.

“It might be hard going but it will all be worthwhile. When you think where the money goes and what can be done with it, it gives you the impetus to carry on. And when you get to the finish line, there is a real sense of achievement.”

Owen, who has five children, 11 grandchildren and one great grandchild on the way, will be cheered on at the event by his wife, Margaret, and other members of his family. 

Daughter Louise, of Belper, added: “I think my dad is not only an inspiration to me in my running, but to anyone thinking they can’t do it or they are too old. Life can be what you, make of it and my dad is making the most of his.”

The festive fun run is perfect for all the family, and offers two routes – 3.5km or 7km –with both routes being wheelchair and pushchair accessible. Dogs are also welcome. 

Nancy Lillington, Rainbows Events Manager, said: “We are delighted that Owen is taking part in this event and we hope his determination and positivity will encourage others to join him and sign up. This really is a fun, festive event and it doesn’t matter if you walk, skip or run around the course. By taking part, you will be helping to provide such a valuable service to those families who need it the most.”

The event starts at 10.30am, with registration open from 9am. Entry, which includes a Santa suit, is £15, £6.50 for under 16s and £40 for a family ticket. Under 3s are free. To sign up, contact 0800 952 1133, visit rainbows.co.uk/derbysanta or email [email protected]