HUNDREDS of people were doused in paint as they took part in the first Colour Run in aid of Bolton Hospice.
More than 600 runners completed the 5k course around Queens Park in glorious sunshine yesterday, with charity bosses saying they hope the event will raise £20,000.
“Runaway bride” Lauren Humphreys was just one of the participants — completing the course wearing a wedding dress, veil and trainers.
The 26-year-old from Breightmet, who is getting married on Saturday to fiancé Lee Swallow in Chorley, said: “I told the team at work that if they could raise £100, I’d run in a wedding dress — we raised £350 in five hours.
“I had decided it was time to shape up and couldn’t think of a better excuse to get running than with my wedding being around the corner.”
Alice Atkinson, Bolton Hospice fundraising manager, said they were delighted with the event.
She said: “We had seen other hospices doing colour runs, and also the big one in Manchester, and thought our supporters would love it.
“We have had a really good response. We’re always trying to think of new ways to ask people to fundraise for the charity and we’re hopeful we will raise £20,000 today.”
Joe Carne, aged 28, was one of the first to cross the finish line.
The Manchester resident travelled to Bolton to take part with a team from Stateside Foods, which also sponsored the event and had a colour stall with paint to throw at the runners.
He said: “It’s been a really good day — I didn’t realise there would be so many hills!”
Also taking part were prospective Conservative MPs Chris Green, who will stand in Bolton West in May, and James Daly, running for election in Bolton North East.
Mr Green said: “It was great to see so many people out enjoying themselves on a beautiful day, and this event was so much more focused on the ‘fun’ part of fundraising.”
Mr Daly added: “I’m knackered, but it’s great to be here with Bolton people and supporting such an important community facility.
“As MPs we will want to put something back into this community and support events like this, not just talk about politics and policies all the time.”
Staff from Hollywood Bowl in the Middlebrook also sent a team to take part in the race, made up of Kim Lane, Lindsey McDermott, Natalia Orzechowska, Charlotte Heywood and Alison Molyneux.
Ms Lane, aged 24, from Horwich, said they were running in memory of friends and family who had accessed the services at the hospice.
She said: “We have raised at least £650 so far, and there’s more donations to come in.”