A squadron of Santas and a forest of Christmas trees led elves, Christmas presents and reindeer as festive fundraisers hit the road for the annual St Giles Hospice Rudolph Run at Tamworth Castle.

The popular charity event – with added Christmas sparkle – took place on Sunday, December 8, and saw 371 supporters lace up their running shoes to raise money for the charity, which cares for people with a potentially terminal illness and their families.

The fundraisers – many with their four-legged friends – followed either 3km or 6km courses based in and around the Tamworth Castle grounds.

The fantastic display of colourful fancy dress costumes really helped spectators and supporters to get into the Christmas spirit and delighted organisers, who said the costumes got better each year.

Elinor Eustace, Director of Fundraising for St Giles Hospice, said: “The Rudolph Run is always a really fun event, one of the real highlights of our calendar, and for us it truly marks the start of the festive season.

“It’s always so wonderful to see so many people getting into the Christmas spirit and enjoying themselves for a great cause – really making it the season of goodwill.

“We want to say a big thank you to everyone who took part in this year’s Rudolph Run along with all the dedicated volunteers who gave up their Sunday morning to help us make sure that everything went so smoothly.

“We also had some great support from members of the community, who always help make the event really special. Once again, Gill Hughes from Active All Stars gave everyone a fantastic warm-up which got them ready to march out to the starting line.

“Out on the route the Tuneless Choir from Sutton Coldfield hit all the right notes to put a spring in everybody’s step all the way to the finish line. And the Co-Op supplied us with 400 mince pies to add a festive touch to the finish line.”

The Rudolph Run entry fee covers the administration costs of the event, so money raised through sponsorship goes directly to supporting the work of St Giles Hospice. Last year Rudolph runners raised more than £9,000 to fund hospice services.