Sunday 3 December 2023

The Christmas Pudding Race

Traditional pursuits in December - The Great Christmas Pudding Race

This race has been staged for about forty years in Covent Garden, London. This year it takes place on December 9th.

It is a fund raiser for Cancer Research UK. Teams of runners in fancy dress race around a course of inflatable obstacles while balancing a Christmas pudding on a tray. Volunteers along the way cheer them on with water jets, foam, flour-filled balloons and other encouragements. This video gives an idea of what takes place. For the avoidance of doubt the regal-looking lady is not the late Queen Elizabeth II but a convincing look-alike.

Other parts of the country also hold Christmas Pudding races, all for charities of different kinds. The wearing of headphones is discouraged and in some places banned outright, with the warning that runners attempting to wear them will be disqualified. One organising body says:  

 By taking up your position on the start line, you are agreeing that you are in good health, and have good fitness and sound mind to complete the course.

Headphones are not advised as the course does include a section of open road. Also the trail paths are open to the public and their horses, dogs, children, and may contain the occasional badger, squirrel or panther*. You should remain aware and alert to potential hazards at all times.*rumoured

The first race of the Christmas Pudding season takes place today in Dartford, Kent (boyhood home of Mick Jagger) and has 5k and 10k options. The Dartford Bridge race is free to enter.

On December 9th the Langdale Christmas Pudding 10k is expected to take place in Great Langdale, in the Lake District. Every finisher is rewarded with a Christmas pudding.

Longridge Christmas Pudding Race in Lancashire will be on 10th December, the same day at the Christchurch 10k race in Dorset and the Merthyr Mawr race in South Wales.

Broad Haven holds its race on 10th December, as well, in Pembrokeshire. It has a Little Puds race for children on the beach and the children receive a wooden medal.

The East Sussex, Christmas Pudding 5 Mile Dash is on 16th December in Pett.

The races in the wilder parts of the country are subject to the vagaries of the weather and may have to be cancelled!


  1. Loved that video - the music was the perfect start to a day

    1. It gets the toes tapping and makes me smile.

  2. the video is so much fun! I really wish I could afford to visit the UK sometime.

    1. It makes you want to dance or jig about, anyway:-)

  3. I've just read Yorkshire puddings post and read your title as Christmas pudding rice.........

  4. That looks a lot of fun and for such a good cause. I love Christmas pudding x

  5. It does look fun, doesn't it? x

  6. This sounds like great fun. Plus, if you get hungry in the middle of the race, you can stop hand have a little snack!

  7. What a fun way to raise money for charity! xxx


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