Rainbow Dash cash will help Jarrow hospice continue to care

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Runners made a pelt for it when they look on a colourful charity challenge.

St Clare’s Hospice hosted its third Rainbow Dash at Monkton Stadium today, bringing together 350 competitors for a trio of runs around its old running track.

Fundraisers taking part in St Clare's Hospice Rainbow Dash at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow.

Fundraisers taking part in St Clare's Hospice Rainbow Dash at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow.

The event saw two 5k runs and a 1k race held for fundraisers who were dusted in coloured powder, with chiefs hoping the day will raise a total of £20,000 which will go towards the £1.8million it needs to fund the running costs of the Jarrow hospice.

Among those who took part were Helen Mackerill, 47, from South Shields, who rounded up a 50-strong group to form Team Mac in memory of her husband Paul.

The 52-year-old died last August after he was diagnosed with skin cancer, and £12,500 was raised in his name for the hospice and Macmillan.

Helen, who was joined by children Emily, 15, and Sophie, nine, said after completing the first 5k of the day: “I’m just so proud to see all our friends here.

I’m just so proud so see all our friends here, and we’ve got really good friends who were here for us in our hour of need, they have been absolutely brilliant.

Helen Mackerill

“We’ve got really good friends who were here for us in our hour of need, they have been absolutely brilliant.

“Most also took part in the Boxing Day Dip, which was fantastic, and I can’t thank them enough for taking part in all of this.

“I’m absolutely knackered, but it was good fun and really hard.”

Lauren Grainger, 12, took part in the 1k with her grandad Phil Grainger, 61, from South Shields, a retired TV and video repairman.

A scene from the Rainbow Dash.

A scene from the Rainbow Dash.

She said: “My grandad rang me and told me about it and then I looked at the video and thought it looked good.

“It was amazing to take part.”

Phil added: “I’m just glad it didn’t rain, but it was good to join in and it was hard work.”

Vanessa Mustard is a senior fundraiser with St Clare’s.

Runners cheer as they head over the start line.

Runners cheer as they head over the start line.

She said: “We did the Midnight Walk for years, but numbers began to dwindle and it was something only for women, so we wanted to find something more family focused and something everybody could take part in.

“We’ve got some people who have done it year on year and we’ve got a really big group with Team Mac, which is brilliant to see.

“It’s lovely to see so many people taking part and it’s fantastic to see them all covered in a rainbow of colours.”

The event was sponsored by LS Care, Peter Johnson Funerals, Martino’s and Fit 4 Less.

For more details on the hospice’s upcoming fundraising events visit http://www.stclareshospice.co.uk/events

People of all ages joined in the fun.

People of all ages joined in the fun.

People of all ages took part in the races.

People of all ages took part in the races.

A team of helpers ensured runners were well covered in powder.

A team of helpers ensured runners were well covered in powder.

Lots of runners wore white to show the full impact of the colours.

Lots of runners wore white to show the full impact of the colours.

Two of the competitors from the run.

Two of the competitors from the run.

Helen Mackerill with daughters Emily, 15, and Sophie, nine.

Helen Mackerill with daughters Emily, 15, and Sophie, nine.

Phil Grainger and granddaughter Lauren, 12.

Phil Grainger and granddaughter Lauren, 12.