Town is turned red for the Ipswich Santa Run

Scores of bearded Santa's limber up and set off on the annual EACH Santa Run around Ipswich Town Cen

Scores of bearded Santa's limber up and set off on the annual EACH Santa Run around Ipswich Town Centre on Sunday - Credit: Archant

More than 200 people donned the famous red suit for one of Ipswich’s most popular festive events – but they were soggy Santas by the time they finished their run around town.

It was not the weather they had hoped for – and far from the traditional white Christmas scene – but organisers were thrilled with Sunday’s turn-out and none of those taking part in the annual Santa Run seemed to mind the rain.

After being serenaded by carol singers under the Lloyds Avenue arch, the enthusiastic Santas were put through their paces in a vigorous warm-up by Kay Fletcher before the countdown and the start of the three kilometre event.

The run, which raises money for the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, attracted entrants of all ages, including parents with toddlers in pushchairs, teenagers, more mature runners, and families.

It was not a race for the sea of red running round the town centre streets, but an event designed to bring festive fun and good cheer and for people to complete the course at their own pace, whether running, jogging or walking.

EACH events intern Kesha Allen said pledges and entry fees from the day were expected to raise around £4,000 for the charity.

She said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic and was great to see everyone dressed up and enjoying it so much.

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“It wasn’t the weather we hoped for but the rain didn’t deter people from coming along and a turn-out of more than 200 was marvellous.”

John Allsey, branch manager for A Plan Insurance, Princes Street, Ipswich, which sponsored the event with £1,000, said: “It’s a great event and EACH does such brilliant work and we are pleased to help in any way we can.”

The town centre was busy for the event with shoppers enjoying the spectacle and also the Ipswich Christmas market.