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Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich was 'absolutely fantastic'

PUBLISHED: 09:37 04 December 2016 | UPDATED: 13:50 04 December 2016

Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.

Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.

Delivering millions of presents around the world in one night won't seem quite as hard this year for Santa after he completed a gruelling obstacle course in Ipswich.

Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.

He was joined by over 2,700 fundraising look-alikes for the UK’s only inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park on Saturday.

Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.

Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.

Runners flipped, bounced and dragged themselves around the course, pitting themselves against 10 giant inflatable obstacles. They ranged from the Hurdles and the Ripple Runner to the Gauntlet, the curiously named ‘Oh Balls!’ and the final Leap of Faith.

Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.

Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.

“It was absolutely fantastic and just so much fun,” said Joanne Rodger, the events and challenges fundraiser at St Elizabeth Hospice, which was the charity partner.

Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.

Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.

“So many people were laughing coming through to the finish line. You had to jump onto a massive beanbag for that last one, which was difficult for some, but they all loved it.”

Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.

Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.

She added that the inflatable Santa Run could become a popular part of Ipswich’s Christmas calendar for charity events.

Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.

“It works really nice alongside the Christmas Day Dip at Felixstowe,” she said.

Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.

Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.

Other runners were dressed as turkeys, Christmas presents and elves. Everyone who took part could either fundraise for the hospice or another charity or cause of their choice.

Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.Inflatable 5k Santa Run at Trinity Park in Ipswich, December 2016.

Rob Henderson, assistant events organiser at UK Running Events, which holds the inflatable 5k Santa Run across the country, said it was a “resounding success”.

He said: “The beauty of it is that it is open to everybody, from anyone interested in getting fit and having a goal to aim for, to entry-level runners seeing it as a boot camp and more serious runners to have fun and a bit of a laugh with their friends.”

Waves of around 150 participants took on the course during the day. It cost £40 to enter, although there were family and group discounts.

Mr Henderson said feedback from runners at Trinity Park and on social media has been “overwhelming”.

“There is something for everyone,” he said. “Our obstacles are all bespoke. The ‘Oh Balls’ and the final Leap of Faith tend to be people’s favourites.”

He strongly suggested the event will be returning to Trinity Park next year and teased that there could be a new obstacle in the course.

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