Spain Santa Claus run draws thousands to streets of Madrid

Around 6,000 people dressed as Santa Claus and his elves have run a "mini-marathon" through the streets of Madrid to promote festive cheer as the country tries to emerge from a two-year recession.

Around 6,000 people dressed as Santa Claus and his elves have run a "mini-marathon" through the streets of Madrid to promote festive cheer as the country tries to emerge from a two-year recession.

While grown-ups dressed in red costumes with wispy white beards, children donned green elf outfits to run the 5.5-kilometre course through the city centre.

The race was organized Saturday by one of Spain's leading department stores and it contributed 1 € (or about $1.34 US) for each entrant to a charity that buys Christmas presents for deprived children around the world.

Javier Menendez, one of the runners, said he was surprised at the number of people who have donned the robes for the run.

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