SUNSHINE, smiles and a kaleidoscope of colours covered fun runners at a charity event in the North-East over the weekend

The first ever Colourama 5k run was held at Aykley Heads in Durham City in aid of St Cuthbert’s Hospice on Saturday.

Around 1,500 people took part, allowing themselves to be covered washable power paint every kilometre.

The non-toxic powder was thrown by volunteers as they passed through the ‘paint stations’.

The event was started by Chester-le-Street brother and sister Helen Corner, 32, and Daniel Lowden, 23, who blasted an air horn at St Leonard’s Playing Field at 2pm to set the runners off on a 5km loop course around the Aykley Heads area.

They themselves took part in the event and are running in the Great North Run in September in memory of their mum, Wendy, who died of cancer at the hospice last June.

Mrs Corner, a team manager for an insurance company and mother-of-one, said: “We got everyone running and there was a great atmosphere. It was sunny but windy, and everyone seemed to be relaxed and enjoying themselves. It was a brilliant day my mam would be really proud.”

For the past eight years, St Cuthbert’s Hospice has staged annual Midnight Walk events in June, which have helped raise a total of £480,000 towards running costs.

This weekend’s event was a little different, more accessible and also featured live music from four local bands as well as a fun fair and stalls.

Durham High School For Girls pupils came up with a name for the event earlier this year after taking part in a competition.

The winning name was dreamed up by pupils Zoe Collingwood, Leoni D’Arcy and Georgia McMillan.

It is hoped the event raised tens of thousands of pounds for the charity.

Sheela Joy, senior fundraiser at St Cuthbert’s Hospice, said: “We are really, really pleased with how it has gone.

“There was a great atmosphere and the adults were acting like children, shrieking as they were covered in paint. Some of them were coming back looking like Oompa-Loompas. Everyone was laughing. It was all good fun.”