THE region's first ever rainbow race brought a splash of colour to a forest and raised thousands of pounds for charity.

More than 150 people took part in the 5k event at Hamsterley Forest, in County Durham, on Sunday, June 1, in aid of Butterwick Hospice Care which incorporates Butterwick House Children’s Hospice and Butterwick Hospice, in Stockton, and Butterwick Hospice, at Bishop Auckland.

The event saw runners showered with a spectrum of paints at each kilometre marker resulting in some vibrant rainbow races at the finish line.

Charity fundraiser, Steve Robson, said: “It was great to be able to offer those in the region a chance to take part in a craze which is sweeping the world. We were so thrilled with the enthusiasm, and of the generosity shown, likely to bring us over £12,000 in sponsorship."

He thanked Star Radio, the Forestry Commission, participant, volunteers and sponsors for their support.

Martha McBarron, 57, of Bishop Auckland, not only crossed the finish line first but also raised about £1,000 in sponsorship.

The rainbow race was so popular popular it could become an annual fundraiser and registration for next year’s event, which will take place in May, has already opened. Anyone interested can email