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‘Running Santa’ gives gift of support at Boston Marathon

Every city needs a Bret Beauchamp.

Oxford is fortunate to have the real one — our marathon man with a unique sense of community.

It is Beauchamp, 42, who started Oxford’s running Santa Claus tradition. A runner since the age of 8, Beauchamp started running the city’s streets in a Santa costume years ago to the delight of neighbors and passing motorists.

This past year when he got inured falling off the roof of his home, friends and neighbors stepped in to keep the running Santa tradition going.

Running in the Boston Marathon this week, it was Beauchamp lending the helping hand.

He was captured through the lens of an Associated Press photographer helping a fellow runner who had stumbled near the finish line. The photo, naturally, received widespread social media attention.

Beauchamp said the helping act was a do unto others sort of thing — he understands the pain a runner might feel if they didn’t finish the race and couldn’t resist helping the man.

Never mind that stopping to help took seconds off of Beauchamp’s personal time. He was just happy to help, and still posted a finish time of 3:25.40.

We are proud to call Bret Beauchamp, our running Santa, one of Oxford’s own.