Wacky races at Rainbow Rush 2021

Runners showed the colour of their money as they came together for the first in-person event since the outbreak of the pandemic in aid of a popular hospice.

More than 240 competitors signed up for an obstacle course with a difference to raise thousands of pounds for St Teresa’s Hospice as it fights to recover from the impact of Covid.

The wacky races saw runners of all ages dowsed in coloured powder as their teams took it in turn to negotiate a series of obstacles, including jumps, slalom courses, tunnels and netball hoops. After each race, entrants had the opportunity to browse a number of stalls.

The Rainbow Rush was staged at Longfield Academy, Darlington, and is expected to raise more than £10,000 for St Teresa’s Hospice, which needs £3m a year to provide free in-patient and community care for people living with life-limiting illnesses and their families in Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire.

Darlington’s Mayor Cllr Cyndi Hughes was on hand to support competitors who were presented with medals, an event t-shirt, a personal colour paint packet and a poncho to protect their car seats on the journey home.

During the event, which was sponsored by Charles Clinkard, a team from Darlington-based Physique Fitness club ran pre-run warm-ups, manned a colour station and took part in the event itself.

Charles Clinkard Retail Managing Director Tim Payne said: “We were delighted to sponsor the first mass attendance event St Teresa’s has been able to hold – and it was well worth the wait.”

Physique Fitness Manager Deith Bridges said: “St Teresa’s Hospice is our chosen charity and we had planned to do a large fundraiser last years which had to be cancelled because of the pandemic. The Colour Rush was a brilliant event and we all had a great time. We are looking forward to seeing how we can help in the future.”

St Teresa’s Hospice Chief Executive Jane Bradshaw added: “Conditions were absolutely perfect and the sun literally shone on our event.

“We have never experienced anything quite like the pandemic and at one point we feared that it was going to be too much for the hospice to endure. But the community has really rallied behind us and thanks to the commitment and ingenuity of our staff, volunteers and wonderfully supportive sponsors the hospice has managed to come through the most difficult period of its history.”

Organisers are grateful to sponsors Charles Clinkard, Troocost, BNI Invincible, Darlington Rotary, Physique Fitness, Clark Willis Law Firm LLP, Guthrie & Craig Training Services, Darlington Golf Club, Oxford Garage Hurworth, Stan Seaton, PBU (UK) Ltd, MT Print, Glenwood Paint Supplies, and Chem To Kill.

The event was also supported by Aycliffe Radio and Colin McNeillie, Longfield Academy, 1st Stop Party Shop, Darlington Mowden Park RFC.

Anyone wanting to support the hospice can make donations at www.justgiving.com/campaign/hugtostts or contact the Events and Fundraising Team on (01325) 254321 or email [email protected].