HUNDREDS of Santas donned their red suits for an annual run to raise vital hospital cash.

More than 300 participants gathered for the Santa Fun Run organised by the Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity on Sunday.

Everyone taking part chooses whether they are going to run, jog or walk around a 3km or 5km course in Colchester’s Castle Park and can then decide whichever ward, department or appeal they want to donate the funds they have raised to.

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Head of fundraising at the hospitals, Caroline Bates, said: “It was a sea of red at the beginning which then sort of disappears and things out as people make their way around the course.

“I always think of this as the start of Christmas - you get the Santa Fun Run done and then it is really time for the festivities.

“There was a bit of a threat of rain but luckily it held off and nobody got too wet.”

The total amount raised is still being calculated, but it is estimated to be roughly £10,000.

Plans are already afoot for next year’s event which will be the tenth edition of the annual spectacular.

Caroline added: “Next year we want to see 1,000 people enter - 100 people for every year we have been doing it.

“We will be appealing to everyone who has done it before to dig out their red suits and come and give it another go.”