TRAFFIC stopped on the Runcorn Widnes bridge and a wave of red runners emerged.

More than 600 volunteers braved the rain on Sunday morning to join Halton’s festive Santa Dash.

It’s the biggest number to take part in the charity event and Halton Haven Hospice is confident they will exceed last year’s sum of £16,000.

Ciaran Clotworthy, hospice events manager, said: “Despite the downpour, over 600 Santas took part and spirits remained high.

“It was fantastic to see how much effort people have put into customising their outfits.

“There was an incredible atmosphere at the start of the dash and at the finish line where it was great to see so many spectators cheering the Santas on in the rain.

“Every single penny raised will go directly towards providing specialist care to patients in Halton.”

Some Santas ran with dogs, while others came up with novel ideas.

Postman Jeff Allen, aged 53, and his wife, Anne, a solicitor, aged 45, from Sutton Park, Runcorn, both dressed as reindeers and pulled an inflatable Santa behind them.

They won the best fancy dress costume, a luxury platter for four donated by Fresh Catering Co.

Santas, including adults, children and families, ran from Spike Island in West Bank to Runcorn old town.

Halton Haven would like to say a massive thanks to all their supporters, including Halton Council, Anthony’s Travel, Balfour Beatty, The Brindley, Runcorn and Widnes cadets, Nando’s Widnes, Wire FM and Jooce Marketing and PR.