A WINTER wonderland it was not, but the pouring rain did not stop 150 runners in Cwmbran from donning their best Christmas elf outfits and raising money for St David's Hospice Care this morning.

There were plenty of smiles as elves of all ages embarked on this year's Festive Elf Run/Walk, the third edition of the charity event, held at Llanyrafon Manor.

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The main route took in seven kilometres around the manor's grounds and Cwmbran Boating Lake – slightly amended to avoid the larger puddles – while the younger runners took on a shorter, 1.6km route.

Event organiser Franca Nigro, of St David's praised the dedication of everyone who had turned up despite the driving rain and boggy conditions.

"They've all put in such a wonderful effort with their costumes, but lots of them have had to wear waterproofs," she said. "The weather is the worst we've had. It's been cold in the past, but not as wet as this.

"Our sincere thanks to everyone for braving the weather – it just reiterates their support for St David's and the work we do for the local community."

The money raised at the Elf Run will go towards the St David's Unicorn project, which helps children who have lost loved ones, by providing child support workers for counselling and bereavement support.

The event was sponsored by Western Power Distribution, which also had a team taking part in the event. Other groups to run included DW Fitness from Newport, Pontnewydd pharmacy, and Lliswerry pharmacy – who were running in support of one of their colleagues who is being cared for by St David's.

Burtons Biscuits provided some refreshments, and DJ Daryll Barnby got everyone in a festive mood with some classic Christmas tunes.

And though the event does not focus on the competitive side of running, there were some prizes handed out.

Tommy Brenton, aged 9, was the first person back on the 1.6km circuit, while Gary Clark was first in the 7km run.

Winner of the best fancy dress award was Ffion Cooke, whose grandmother was cared for by St David's.

And Ms Nigro extended further congratulations to Erin Cleary, for completing her longest run to date since taking up running only a few months ago.