Thousands turn the seafront red for the Santa Fun Run

Ho ho ho was the message as a sea of red ran along the seafront on a crisp December morning.

Monday, 12th December 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 2:17 pm
Lots of Santas descended on Portsmouth. . Families and friends enjoyed running at the event Picture: Habibur Rahman

Those taking part in the Santa Fun Run ranged from families to seasoned joggers, dogs and even a sleigh being dragged by four people dressed up as reindeer.

Around 2,500 people joined in the fun yesterday, either running one mile, a 5k, a 10k or taking on the Snowflake Challenge by running all three to raise funds for The Rowans Hospice and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

A festive atmosphere was present on Eastney Esplanade for the one-mile run as the morning sun warmed up the runners.

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Shena Wright, Bev Scammell and Sue Leonard with Jac the dog

Norman Ellis, 61, from Horndean, was running along with his son Tom, 32.

‘It’s a pretty amazing sight to see this many people running alongside you all dressed as Santa.

‘We’re pretty seasoned runners so we’re taking on the Snowflake Challenge.

‘There’s definitely a bit of different feel when running in a Santa outfit, but it feels good!’

Shena Wright, Bev Scammell and Sue Leonard with Jac the dog

Sue Harrison from Havant and Lynn Thomson from Langstone took on the one-mile run together.

Sue, who was running the event for the first time, said: ‘It’s been absolutely fantastic. You see so many families here all doing the race together for such a good cause and you get such a great feeling from doing it.

‘It’s really wonderful just to be a part of it. I’m so glad I did it and I would definitely encourage more people to take part next year.’

People of all ages took part in the runs, with some donning green or blue suits while others dressed up as elves or reindeer.

The routes were different for each race, with runners mostly heading up and down Clarence Esplanade and Eastney Esplanade.

Rob Hazell, from Horndean, said: ‘We’ve had stunning weather this morning and it has all looked just brilliant.

‘It’s a great family event and it is just a bit of exercise for a really great cause.’

He added: ‘It is surreal to be running with so many Santas!’