MORE than 1,000 Father Christmas' could be seen running through Marlow yesterday morning including rowing legend Sir Steve Redgrave.

The Rotary Clubs of Marlow organised the Santa's Fun Run which was one of the first spates of exercise for the Olympic rower since he suffered multiple broken bones in a cycling accident in the summer.

He started the three mile race in Higginson Park which saw all ages take part with all the money raised being split between Helen and Douglas House and the Rotary Clubs of Marlow and Marlow Thames.

Sir Steve ran the race with wife, Lady Ann, and son Zak. He came in just under the 30m mark and said: “It was bit hard. I didn't train for it. I had a nice big bowl of porridge for breakfast this morning which wasn't the right thing to do.”

The 48-year-old was thrown from his bike in June during a 3,000 mile charity bike ride in America.

He added:“I am pleased I got around. I am probably the heaviest I have ever been. I had a cycling accident in the summer and I did my first bit of exercise on Thursday- that was playing raquetball-that was hard on my lungs. Today was hard on my legs.

“I got beaten by my son, Zak, who is 12.”

This is the sixth Santa's fun run and the route was changed to the full length of Marlow High Street.

In first place was Samantha Amend, 31, from Marlow who won it for the ladies. The organisers had a time of 19m40s but she had 18m40s. The time clock had not arrived on time so times were being taking down manually.

She said: “ “I have never sweated so much in my life. I don't sweat normally but with the suit on it it different. Next time I am modifying it.”

She was running with 19 members from her running club, Bucks Sports, which was their first race.

The seasoned athlete said: “I think they wanted me to win it for the ladies. I couldn't run as fast as I usually do.”

In second place was Oliver James, 21, from Maidenhead with 20m09s. He was running with colleagues from his work, Seiko, in Maidenhead. He came second last year and said he enjoys the race as it is good fun.

Organiser Lance Slater said: “It is such a lovely mild day. We were almost worried we were almost worried we were going to have to cancel it.

“It is the mildest day we had and it is the sixth year we have done it.”