Hundreds of people took part in this year's Isle of Wight Santa Dash in aid of the Earl Mountbatten Hospice. Many in the crowd carried purple balloons in memory of Sophie Rolf. Picture by Peter Boam.
SANTAS of all shapes and sizes took part in this year’s Earl Mountbatten Santa Dash yesterday (Sunday), helping to raise thousands of pounds for charity.
So many people signed up on the day that organisers did not have enough medals to go round and extras will be brought in this week to make sure each of the 360 runners receives one.
The event started with a minute’s silence in memory of Sophie Rolf, the young fundraiser battling an inoperable brain tumour, who died last week. Sophie’s mother Gemma Rolf to attend the event.
Supports in the crowd and taking part in the run, made donations to her appeal, KissyPuppy, in return for purple balloons.
The 5km run started outside the Superbowl Cafe at LA Bowl in Ryde, where runners donned Santa suits provided by the organisers.
"It was a fantastic day," said Danni Johnson, of the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.
The day was supported by Tesco, which along with the hospice’s own kitchen provided mince pies for the runners.
Around £3,500 is thought to have been raised.