THOUSANDS of people dressed as Father Christmas will descend on the seafront for an annual race.
Southsea is hosting the Santa Fun Run this Sunday with a range of races including a doggy dash, the Present Plod 5km and Tinsel Tree 10km.
This year, the run is celebrating 10 years in the city and one group to take part is the Hairy Roses from the Mary Rose Museum, at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Twenty-one members of staff will be donning the red Father Christmas suits, including fake beards, to complete the event in memory of colleague Yvonne Shaw who died of cancer.
James Rodliff, visitor operations manager, signed the team up. He said: ‘Yvonne was diagnosed with terminal cancer and it was a terrible blow to the whole team. We are quite a small family here and we wanted to do something.
‘Our female colleagues have done Race for Life and Pretty Muddy so we thought it was the chaps’ turn to have a go.’
Our female colleagues have done Race for Life and Pretty Muddy so we thought it was the chaps’ turn to have a goJames Rodliff
The group will be taking on the 5km route and will run or walk it to get their medal at the end and help with the fundraising with donations going to The Rowans Hospice.
Paul Griffiths, operations manager, said: ‘We decided to do the run after Yvonne went into The Rowans Hospice.
‘Sadly, she has since passed on but the Rowans were fabulous and we know the wonderful work they do.
‘Signing up for the run has also been good in getting the staff doing exercise. We have people who haven’t done exercise for a long time but we have colleagues running along the seafront to train and people recovering from operations getting involved which is great.
‘It has given everyone a real inspiration and there’s been a real team effort.’
Originally the Hairy Roses were hoping to raise £1,000 but have passed that target.
They are now at £1,545 – the same number as the year the Mary Rose sunk in the Solent. They are aiming to add to that and raise £1,982 – the year the Tudor ship was raised from the sea.
James said they were really pleased with how much people had donated. ‘We are over the moon and it is really exciting,’ he said.
The races start from 9am with staggered starts for the different distances. Search RNLI Santa Fun Run on Facebook for more details.