The Great Christmas Pudding Race Returns To Covent Garden This Christmas

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The Great Christmas Pudding Race Returns To Covent Garden This Christmas


Three runners dressed as an alien from Toy Story, a reindeer, and a Christmas tree, running neck and neck while each balancing a Christmas pudding on a tray

After a false start last year, and complete cancellation the year before, the bonkers Great Christmas Pudding Race finally makes its long-awaited return to Covent Garden this December.

If you happened upon this seasonal spectacle, you'd be forgiven for thinking you've been hitting the mulled wine a bit too hard. The race involves members of the public charging around the piazza balancing a Christmas pudding on a tray, while dodging obstacles and taking part in challenges... and dressed up as an elf or other festive being.

A team of runners dressed as elves run past Santa at the start line, each balancing a Christmas pudding on a tray

What to get involved? Cancer Research UK is the chosen good cause of the event, with people paying £60 to enter a team of four, and a combined sponsorship target of £800 per team. Teams battle it out to win the Christmas Pudding Trophy, as well as other prizes, so pick your teammates carefully.

It's a heats-based competition, with one member of each team taking part at a time, competing against other teams to finish the course fastest. Each heat takes 5-10 minutes, and features challenges such as a crazy foam slalom, decorating a Christmas Tree and dressing a snowman. There's live entertainment between heats too.

A woman in a Santa suit, running while balancing a Christmas pudding in her left hand and holding on to her Santa hat on her head with her right hand

Get working on your costume. Santas, teddy bears, reindeer, Christmas trees, penguins, Stormtroopers (!) and many, many elves have taken part previously.

Just want to watch the madness unfold? That's OK — mark 10 December in your diary, and head to Covent Garden, making sure you chuck a few quid in the charity bucket.

A man dressed as an elf jumps through a gap in an inflatable obstacle course while holding a Christmas pudding on a tray in his right hand

The Great Christmas Pudding Race 2022 takes place on Saturday 10 December. Register your team asap if you want to take part, or turn up on the day to cheer participants on. The entertainment begins at 11am outside the Punch & Judy, with the first race at 11.50am. The 2022 event has now been cancelled.

Last Updated 22 November 2022

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