Santa run descends upon Southsea seafront

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Dressed in Father Christmas suits, thousands of people took part in a fun race to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Reporter Ellie Pilmoor was on the seafront to meet runners at the finish line.

Thousands of people dressed as Father Christmas descended on the seafront to take part in a fun run.

04/12/14  EP''Thousands of runners took part in the Christmas Santa Fun Run which took place along the sea front at Southsea. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143556-10) PPP-141214-171144003

04/12/14 EP''Thousands of runners took part in the Christmas Santa Fun Run which took place along the sea front at Southsea. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143556-10) PPP-141214-171144003

Families, keen runners and their four-legged friends ran in the Santa Fun Run yesterday to raise money the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

People of all ages took part in the 5km and 10km runs, in Southsea, donned in red, green or blue suits and white beards.

Many participants used the run to get into the Christmas spirit and have fun in the relaxed atmosphere.

A record-breaking 2,000 people took part in the race with 400 children and several dogs.

04/12/14  EP''Thousands of runners took part in the Christmas Santa Fun Run which took place along the sea front at Southsea. (left to right), family friend Chloe Bonnot with Keith Moseley, his daughter Sara Moseley and his wife Anne Moseley. [07812352333]'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143556-3) PPP-141214-170907003

04/12/14 EP''Thousands of runners took part in the Christmas Santa Fun Run which took place along the sea front at Southsea. (left to right), family friend Chloe Bonnot with Keith Moseley, his daughter Sara Moseley and his wife Anne Moseley. [07812352333]'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143556-3) PPP-141214-170907003

Sandra Bowers was one of the first people from the 5km race to finish with her two huskies Kez and Kroi.

The 40-year-old, from Salisbury, says: ‘The Santa Run is fantastic fun and I have run in it for the past few years.

‘It is just so much fun and a run we like to take part in.

‘It is great to come along, dressed as Santa and bring the dogs along.

04/12/14  EP''Thousands of runners took part in the Christmas Santa Fun Run which took place along the sea front at Southsea. The Evans and Riddleston families from Langstone.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143556-5) PPP-141214-170958003

04/12/14 EP''Thousands of runners took part in the Christmas Santa Fun Run which took place along the sea front at Southsea. The Evans and Riddleston families from Langstone.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143556-5) PPP-141214-170958003

‘Kez has ran every time with me but this was the first time for Kroi.

‘They really enjoy it. I am a long-distance runner and I always do it with the dogs.’

Families also enjoyed the races, helping each other to get to the end.

Nine-year-old Samuel Green was kept motivated by his dad Andrew in the 5km race. Samuel, from Arundel, says: ‘This was the first time I had done the race and it was good but difficult.

04/12/14  EP''Thousands of runners took part in the Christmas Santa Fun Run which took place along the sea front at Southsea. (left to right),  Carolyn Cairns and Fiona Coull from Eastney.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143556-6) PPP-141214-171011003

04/12/14 EP''Thousands of runners took part in the Christmas Santa Fun Run which took place along the sea front at Southsea. (left to right), Carolyn Cairns and Fiona Coull from Eastney.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143556-6) PPP-141214-171011003

‘I kept getting a stitch but we finished it in about 25 minutes which was good.’

Dad Andrew adds: ‘It was good running together and about halfway through when Andrew got a stitch, I encouraged him to keep going.’

Couple Ian and Nicola Stott, from Horndean, ran with their daughter Megan, pet dog Mabel and friend Paula Benitez. Ian said: ‘We had great fun and it was good being able to do it as a family.’

The route took runners of the 5km along the promenade to Clarence Parade and back towards the finish line at the Pyramids Centre.

The 10km runners went in the opposite direction towards Eastney before heading to Clarence Parade.

Organiser Rob Piggott says: ‘We have been doing this event for seven years and this year had the most people taking part.

04/12/14  EP''Thousands of runners took part in the Christmas Santa Fun Run which took place along the sea front at Southsea. (left to right),  walking tall are Tara Wingrave-Newell, Emma Lyford, Natalie Cripps, Megan Liddell.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143556-7) PPP-141214-171103003

04/12/14 EP''Thousands of runners took part in the Christmas Santa Fun Run which took place along the sea front at Southsea. (left to right), walking tall are Tara Wingrave-Newell, Emma Lyford, Natalie Cripps, Megan Liddell.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143556-7) PPP-141214-171103003

‘People like the relaxed and fun atmosphere. Everyone made a great effort with their costumes and accessorising their Santa suits.

‘It was nice seeing so many families running.’

04/12/14  EP''Thousands of runners took part in the Christmas Santa Fun Run which took place along the sea front at Southsea. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143556-9) PPP-141214-171114003

04/12/14 EP''Thousands of runners took part in the Christmas Santa Fun Run which took place along the sea front at Southsea. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143556-9) PPP-141214-171114003

04/12/14  EP''Thousands of runners took part in the Christmas Santa Fun Run which took place along the sea front at Southsea. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143556-14) PPP-141214-171255003

04/12/14 EP''Thousands of runners took part in the Christmas Santa Fun Run which took place along the sea front at Southsea. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143556-14) PPP-141214-171255003

04/12/14  EP''Thousands of runners took part in the Christmas Santa Fun Run which took place along the sea front at Southsea. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143556-16) PPP-141214-171323003

04/12/14 EP''Thousands of runners took part in the Christmas Santa Fun Run which took place along the sea front at Southsea. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143556-16) PPP-141214-171323003