SANTAS en masse braved wind gusts of nearly 50 mph as they chased a Christmas Pudding.

The near gale force wind, cold and sudden driving showers didn’t deter 150 runners of all ages.

They ran 3 km or 6km on a windswept exposed course round York Knavesmire in the annual British Heart Foundation’s Chase the Pud fund-raising.

They were cheered on by volunteers including members of GoodGym.

They were trying to catch John Pinder of York Knavesmire Harriers who was this year’s Christmas Pudding.

He was standing in for last year’s winner, who was unable to attend.

“It was my first time and I really enjoyed it,” he said.

“It’s different than running in a normal race, because you’re running on your own. I was looking over my shoulder all the time.”

Afterwards, the runners were all smiles despite the wind and the cold.

Many brought dogs instead of reindeer to accompany them round the course.

Families ran together, with the children either in Santa outfits or dressed as Santa’s helper or elf.

Chief organiser Vicky Hearson was full of thanks for their efforts and their willingness to brave the weather.

She reckoned they have raised £2,000, even though numbers were slightly down on previous years.

She believes some runners who had thought of taking part had been deterred from doing so by the weather. For much of the first half of the course, runners had to run into the wind.

The bad news for all the Santas is that the Christmas pudding was too fast and completed the 6 km course before any other runner.

The good news for the Santas is that they can try and catch John again next year.

He enjoyed it so much he is determined to invoke his winner’s privilege and be the 2020 Christmas Pudding.