SPONGEBOB Squarepants, Santa Claus and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles joined ballerinas, fairies and Lego men in the Urban Run in Nelson Mandela Bay yesterday, with sunny skies attracting a record 1500 participants to the annual event.
Organiser Michael Zoetmulder, of Zports, said the event had been a huge success.
He said all proceedswould go to Khaya Cheshire, Cleft Friends and children's charity Scalp of Nelson Mandela Bay.
"The best part is that everyone raised funds for charity. In total we raised R228000."
The event, in which entrants must navigate obstacles around the CBD, has become a drawcard for entrants dressing up in comical costumes.
Jeremy Dobbin, 25, and Dylan Benyon, 26, who were dressed as Lego men, were voted the best- dressed participants. Dobbin, who was a Lego policeman, said he had enjoyed the run.
"It was lots of fun but very hot in these suits. We put a lot of work into the costumes and prepared for two weeks. It was good fun and the beneficiaries are children.
"I will definitely do it again next year, but maybe not dressed in these costumes," he said.
His friend Benyon – a Lego criminal – agreed. "It was very cool and interesting. We tried our best."
The Herald Christmas Cheer Fund beggar-in- chief, Steven Lancaster, 39, who was dressed as Santa, jokingly said he was not used to temperatures this side of the equator, so he could not be in the first group to finish.
The 10km obstacle run started and ended at the Donkin Reserve in the centre of the city. From there, participants tackled 17 obstacles along the way – the first involved climbing through stormwater drains in Chapel Street.
Saturday's Kids' Urban Run – for children aged six to 15 – was run over the first 3km of the adult course and involved the first four obstacles. It raised R1050.