Operation Santa Claus

Hong Kong ‘Santa Hash’ event raises money for Operation Santa Claus

  • Dressed up as Father Christmas, about 150 runners take three different routes around Kennedy Town
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 December, 2018, 10:18am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 December, 2018, 10:17am

About 150 runners from 14 athletic groups donned Father Christmas outfits for the “Santa Hash” race last Sunday.

The run is an annual affair to support Operation Santa Claus, the charity campaign jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and public broadcaster RTHK.

Participants gathered at Belcher Bay Park in Kennedy Town ahead of the race, which took them past some of the district’s busiest streets.

They chose one of three routes around the neighbourhood, with trail lengths of 2½km, 4½km and 6½km. Most contestants, including some parents who had brought children along, finished the run within an hour.

“Hashing” is derived from an old British school game – called Hare and Hounds – in which two groups of runners race through the countryside, following a paper or chalk trail.

Mark Hope, who organised Santa Hash for the 11th year in a row, said the event had given various local hash groups an opportunity to help the needy.

He said the funds they raised came from donations and entrance fees that all runners had to pay.

The organisers, who sold souvenirs such as T-shirts, expected a good take.

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“Last year, we raised about HK$50,000 (US$6,400),” Hope said.

“[The amount] will probably pass HK$50,000 this year.”

Joshua Powell, 13, was the first to finish the 6½km run.

“I’m a bit tired, but I’ve had fun,” the student said, adding that he was an experienced runner and had taken part in dozens of running events in the city.

How you can give:

  • Donate online by credit card at
  • Donate at an ATM or at any HSBC branch (account no: 502-676299-001 for SCMP Charities Ltd Operation Santa Claus)
  • Donate with a cheque payable to “SCMP Charities Ltd – Operation Santa Claus” and mail it to: Operation Santa Claus, South China Morning Post, 19/F, Tower One, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay
  • Donations of HK$100 or more are tax-deductible. If you would like a tax receipt, please send the completed donation form and original bank receipt, with your name, address and phone number, to the above address. Please call +852 2680 8159 or email [email protected] with any inquiries, or visit us online