SANTA'S HEROIC LITTLE HELPER; TAYLOR, 13, COMPLETES 5K DASH SANTA CAUSE thousands pound streets for festive fun run Charity teen's inspirational courage SANTA CAUSE thousands pound streets for festive fun run.
THOUSANDS of Santas dashed around the streets yesterday - and bravest of all was Taylor Jones.
The 13-year-old has only one leg and did the 5k charity run on crutches.
He said: "It was a bit hard at the beginning going uphill but TURN TO PAGE 7
TAYLOR'SMASHING GDASHING From Page One after that, it was fine. When I came in, everyone was clapping. It was brilliant."
Taylor had his right leg amputated when he was six weeks old because of a blood clot.
But he is passionate about sport and has never let his disability hold him back.
He is a keen swimmer, runner, golfer and football player. Taylor also enjoys performing daring stunts on his scooter.
His proud mum Ann said: "He is amazing. Ask me what he can't do, rather than what he can.
"He wanted to run the Santa Dash last year but we told him to wait a year.
"My husband John took him down and waited for him and he thoroughly enjoyed it.
"People do look at Taylor when he does these things but he just gets on with it. He never gets any extra help.
"We picked his school because it had a lift but he never uses it.
"He's a great kid and gives so much back."
Taylor took part in the annual Santa Dash through Glasgow city centre with pals from John Paul Academy in Summerston, Glasgow. Depute headteacher Vincent Collins said: "Taylor is some boy - nothing stops him, nothing at all."
Taylor's amputation was very high up and he did not cope well with a prosthetic limb.
Ann said: "He tried a false leg but he couldn't play football. With his crutches, he has three legs and can run faster than anyone."
The schoolboy is a member of the Glasgow Seals swimming club and he hopes to be a paralympian swimmer one day.
He added: "I have been swimming for four years and I love it."
About 2500 people - and even a few four-legged friends - took part in the Santa Dash, which started and finished in George Square.
Money raised from this year's event will got to the Sunday Mail Centenary Fund and Glasgow City Council's Malawi Leaders of Learning.
First to cross the finishing line yesterday was Gillet Gaelo.
The Congolese Santa completed the course in less than 20 minutes.
He said: "I feel good and happy. It was difficult and for the first time I thought I wasn't going to win because I have never raced with these clothes on."
Over in the capital, around 1200 people pulled on their red suits for the annual Great Edinburgh Santa Run. People of all ages and all shapes and sizes ran, walked and toddled their way around the 1.5km circuit at West Princes Street Gardens.
The festive fundraisers were treated to a warm-up session and a lesson from UK Zumba fitness presenter Donna Griffin.
The Santa Run raises funds for When You Wish Upon A Star. This year, the money from the race will be used to send children with life-threatening illnesses from all over Scotland to Lapland for a fun-filled holiday.
Nickie Gott, managing director of the event, said yesterday: "Every year, the sight of hundreds of Santas running through West Princes Street Gardens really takes my breath away.
"The Great Edinburgh Santa Run is a fantastic event and it's amazing to see so many Santas pulling on their trainers in the name of such a great charity."
Margaret Rowarth, Scottish appeals manager for When You Wish Upon A Star, said: "I'm always astounded by the number of people that come out on a cold Sunday morning in December to support our cause.
"All the money raised will go towards taking brave children to Lapland."
TAYLOR'SMASHING G DASHING From [...]
NO STOPPING J HIM Taylor lost his leg as a baby but proud mum Ann says nothing fazes the teenager
LITTLE ELF Z FROM MY FRIENDS Kids in Glasgow, left, and below
GO HO HO 3 About 2500 Santas run through Glasgow city centre
REDDY, STEADY, GO Santas in Edinburgh
LEAP OF Z FAITH In George Square. Right, young Santa
I'M PUGGLED J Dog shows the strain after his stint as Santa Paws in the charity run in Glasgow takes its toll
HATS ENOUGH J Thomson family from Bearsden after run
NELLIE THERE J Elephant Santa makes a jumbo effort in Glasgow
DETERMINED 3 Taylor shows his fighting spirit in yesterday's run