AROUND 6,000 people dressed as Santa Claus and his elves ran a “mini-marathon” through the streets of Madrid to promote festive cheer.

While grown-ups dressed in red costumes with wispy white beards, children donned green elf outfits to run the 5.5 kilometre course through the city centre.

The race was organized by El Corte Ingles and it contributed €1 for each entrant to a charity that buys Christmas presents for deprived children around the world.

Javier Menendez, one of the runners, said he was surprised at the number of people who have donned the robes for the run.