SOME 200 people decked in their festive costumes braved the frost for this year's Elf Dash.

University Hospital Dorset NHS Charity created the event to fund supplies at its three hospitals in Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole.

Even though it was cold, everyone was fuelled with excitement heading towards the starting line.

Father Christmas himself made an appearance at the event to wish the runners good luck and chat with the children.

He also hosted a jolly warmup session for the runners before the race began.

Bournemouth Echo:

Families and friends could also enjoy a complimentary burger and hot drink courtesy of The Rapid Relief team before the race.

Speaking on the day, organiser Amy Beauchamp said: “We're all set up nice and early.

“We were down here from about 6am so we've been here with Santa getting ready.

“The burgers are all set up and we’re getting our start lines and elf finished, but there's a bit of a buzz going on, so it feels very festive and exciting.

“It's just nice to see everyone in their fancy dress embracing their inner elf and getting their hats on.

“The money goes towards our children's ward, so that'll be across Bournemouth and Poole Hospital, and that'll be a few different units, whether that's maternity, NICU, paediatrics or our gullies as well.

“The money will basically be split across those, and it'll help with things like Christmas activities, but also anything left over that we need for the new year, so it’s a great event for the hospitals.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Speaking on his charity, Rapid Relief team member James Farant said: “The Rapid Relief Team is a charity, and we're here to provide relief and compassion for those in need.

“We provide help in humanitarian crises, and we support the emergency services, but we also are thrilled to support charities like the Bournemouth Hospitals NHS Trust.  

“We know the important work they do, and this is a major day for them, and we hope that a little bit we can do to help them raise funds and give them all a warm meal and a cheery face.

“Today looks like a great turnout, and the kids look excited.

“This makes today happy for everyone.”

The 2023 Elf Dash took place at Branksome Dene Beach on December 2.