COLOURFUL plumes of dust filled the air as hundreds of runners put themselves to the test in a fun and wacky race.
The Run or Dye 5k event was held at Stansted Park, in Rowlands Castle, yesterday and it saw more than 1,500 people take on the run in three waves.
Katie Ashworth, one of the organisers, said: ‘There’s lots of dye, dancing, music and then they take part in a 5k run with every kilometre having a different colour dye station where volunteers from various charities throw dye at them and cover them in colour.’
The dye is a powdered corn, which is brightly dyed, and within a few minutes every runner was covered.
But first across the finish line in a multi-colour streak was 12-year-old George Ashby, from Eartham, who completed the course within 25 minutes.
He was closely followed by Liam Woods, 36, from Basingstoke.
Mr Woods said: ‘It was a good craic. You just need to keep your mouth shut and eyes closed. I have done a couple of half marathons before but chasing George was harder than them.’
George, who was at the race with his whole family, said: ‘It was great.’
His mum Amelia Ashby, 44, said: ‘I absolutely loved the warm-up and the dancing. It’s not just about the race. To get so many people involved is fantastic.’
Also running, dressed up as book character Where’s Wally was a team from Southampton Hospital’s palliative care unit – Karen Haynes, Andrew Jenks and wife Jennifer, Sue Haig and Sophie Price. Karen, 42, said: ‘I couldn’t see out of my glasses in the end but it was fun.
‘It was a cracking run and I really enjoyed myself.’
The race was giving donations to national charity Help for Heroes, and Portsmouth charity The Elizabeth Foundation, which helps pre-school deaf children and babies learn to listen and talk.
Rachel Mills, teacher at the foundation, said: ‘It’s a splendid challenge with lots of people turning up, covering themselves with dye.
‘Our charity helps deaf children and every penny counts. It’s a wonderful event, a wonderful day with lots of wonderful people running round.’
A party followed the race, with music, dancing – and even more dye.
Katie added: ‘It’s been so enjoyable, with happy people, singing and dancing – it’s been really great.’