HUNDREDS of runners took part in a Christmas fun run to help save children’s lives.

The Southend Rudolph Run saw more than 600 participants turn up in festive costumes at Ness Road, on Southend’s Esplanade, to complete the flat five-mile route along the seafront.

Those who finished were rewarded with a medal and a mince pie.

This is the ninth time the race has been held with competitors glad to support the charity.

The weather was bright and sunny although bitterly cold and windy, meaning it was not only Rudolph who was left with a red nose.

The race on Sunday was supported by Action Medical Research, which supports medical research, treatment, vaccinations and cures for children.

The run is organised by Nice Work, a long-established family business, which started in 1989 and has grown to become one of the country’s leading race management companies.

Clare Collins, Michelle Patrick and Zoe Smith were first-timers for the race, which is open to beginners as well experienced runners. Clare said: “The wind was hard going but we had a blast.”