CLACTON's promenade was turned into a sea of red and white as residents put on their Santa costumes to support a worthy cause.

The Santathon was launched by Tendring District Council’s Civic team in a bid to raise funds for Community Voluntary Services Tendring (CVST) - a group which provides community services and promotes the area's voluntary sector as a whole.

The fun run enjoyed a great turnout with more than 80 Santas running along the lower promenade from Clacton Pier to Martello Bay, then back along the upper promenade.

Malcolm Statham, from Colchester Harriers was first to deliver all their presents and cross the finish line – without the aid of sleigh, while Amy Edgington, of Brantham, took ho-ho-home the trophy as the first-placed lady.

Hallie Heath, of Clacton, who is only nine, was the youngster who first crossed the finish line.

Tendring Council chairman Jeff Bray said: "It was a brilliant sight to see the seafront swarming with Santas, and I am so grateful to everyone who took part.

“I hope that, like Christmas, the Santathon can come every year to raise money for good causes and put a smile on people’s faces.

“It has been a lot of fun putting into practice this idea from my vice-chairman, councillor Peter Harris, and I hope it brought some cheer to Tendring as we all deserve something to smile about.

"I can’t thank councillor Harris and the civic team enough for the huge amount of work they put in.”

The Santa fun run was a huge success and it raised more than £950 for CVST.

Sharon Alexander, chief officer at CVST, said: “We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who took part in the Santathon.

“What a sight to behold on the seafront on a Saturday afternoon!

“It was such a wonderful and fun event and we hope everyone enjoyed themselves.”

The event was also supported by The Atlanta Café, which hosted the sign-in desk and start line and provided bottled water to participants.

Café owner Rob Kendall said: “After the last two years we’ve had it was fantastic to see so many people getting dressed up and involving in something fun, and for a good cause too.

“Well done to everyone who took part.”

Pictures: Will Lodge, Tendring District Council