HUNDREDS of people hit the streets of Winchester today for the city's annual Santa Fun Run.

The main shopping area became a sea of red and white as runners from across Hampshire turned out in a bid to raise up to £40,000 for two of the county's hospices - Naomi House and Jacksplace.

People in their Santa suits set off from The Broadway before making their way past King Alfred’s Statue and some of the city's other landmarks.

After sprinting down to the finish line in Winchester High Street they were greeted by Christmas music, mince pies and a bespoke medal.

Naomi House and Jacksplace support children and young adults who have either life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. Naomi House cares for children up to age of 16 while Jacksplace looks after people aged 16-35. Money raised from the fun run could fund several days of care at the two hospices.

The 5km event has grown in popularity over the past 11 years, with organisers needing to find ever-larger locations to accommodate the growing number of Santas taking part.

Keith Wilson, head of marketing at Naomi House & Jacksplace, said: “Our Santa Fun Run might just be my favourite event of the year.

"The sight of hundreds of Santas jogging past Winchester’s many landmarks really kick starts the festive season in the city."

Mr Wilson said everyone who took part in the fun run helped support the region's most medically complex and vulnerable children.

The hospices are run by a charity which offers respite and three other types of care - emergency, end-of-life and post-bereavement - at its facilities in Sutton Scotney.