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Oxford Runner Keeps Spirit of Christmas on the Move

Is there a better way to start our last day before the break than with a visit from Running Santa?! 🎅

Posted by Lafayette County School District on Thursday, December 20, 2018

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor
alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

Oxford resident Bret Beauchamp has put on a Santa suit while jogging for the past 10 Christmas seasons.
Photo provided by Aaron Craig

Here comes Santa Claus. Here comes Santa Claus, right down South Lamar Boulevard.

And he looks a lot like Oxonian Bret Beauchamp.

For 10 years, Beauchamp has helped ole’ Kris Kringle spread the joy of Christmas throughout the town by donning a Santa suit and running along the streets of Oxford.

An avid runner since he was about 8 years old, Beauchamp and his wife Lindsay moved to Oxford about 12 years ago and settled in the Notting Hill subdivision. A neighbor confided in him one day that she wanted her child to get their picture taken with Santa.

“My mother-in-law had given me a Santa suit one year so I said I’d be happy to put it on and pose with the picture with her child,” Beauchamp said. “I went to the house and we took the photo and she said it would be funny if I went running with the Santa suit on.”

Beauchamp decided it sounded like a lot of fun and took his first job wearing his Santa suit.

“It was about 7 p.m. and people were honking and waving,” he said. “No one had any idea who I was for a couple of years,” he said.

With the help of social media, the word soon started to get out that it was Beauchamp in the suit.

He has worn the suit – along with a fake “tummy” he got off of a Homer Simpson Halloween costume – during the holidays every year since. However, in 2016, he could only wear the suit one time before he fell off a ladder while cleaning leaves from off of his roof.

“I hit my head and was knocked out,” he said. “I got airlifted to Memphis but luckily, I was fine. I spent a few nights in the hospital but I couldn’t get back to running right away.”

Lindsay’s cousin, Kate Embry decided the tradition had to continue. Being well-known among the running community in Oxford, she and several other people took turns wearing the suit and ran around Oxford.

“I didn’t even know it was happening at first,” Beauchamp said. “A couple people a day signed up every day until Christmas day. It was pretty amazing.”

Beauchamp not only embodies the spirit of Christmas during the month of December but tries to live it each day.

In April 2017, Beauchamp made national headlines while running in his ninth Boston Marathon. He was about 200 yards from the finish line when he saw a fellow runner fall. He and another runner stopped to help the fallen runner back on his feet.

Beauchamp said as long as he is able, Santa will continue to take to the streets each Christmas season.

“I can’t stop now, it’s become a tradition,” he said. “It’s kind of fun and it makes people smile and laugh.”


 

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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