ONE of Weymouth's quirkiest festive events saw hundreds of Santas chase a pudding along the beach on Sunday.

Chase the Pudding, a 5km fun run, returned for 2019 to raise money for an important local cause, the Will Mackaness Trust. There was also a 2k Chase the Elf for under 14s.

Despite weather warnings the morning proved to be sunny and clear after a brief shower, with a rainbow breaking out as Santas and elves began their warm-up.

Weymouth Mayor, Cllr Graham Winter, and Mayoress Mary Jordan-Winter introduced the race. Cllr Winter said: "It's a lovely community event and one I'm very proud to support.

"It's great to see people of all ages and abilities take part - I was talking to a woman just now who is 64 and is a first time competitor."

Chris Stratford and 11 year-old Danny Wormbwell travelled from Poole to take part.

Mr Stratford said: "It's good fun - we've been coming down to support it for a few years now. It's a good little race."

Decked out in their Santa and elf outfits, the pudding-chasers made a hilarious and heartwarming spectacle as they took off down the beach towards Greenhill and back to the Pavilion.

The aim is to catch the person dressed as a Christmas pudding, with the successful Santa having the honour of being next year's pudding.

The winner was Harvey Wood, who caught 'pudding' Andrew Dumbrell.

"It feels great to have won," Mr Wood said."It's the first time I've entered. I've been training all year - I'm joining the Marines next year."

The Will Mackaness Trust is a Weymouth-based charity, set up in memory of Will who died from a brain tumour in 2008.

Its aim is to give youngsters the opportunity to experience watersports, including windsurfing and sailing.

Speaking after the race, Will Mackaness' mum, Pam Govier, said: "Another wonderful turnout - we were so lucky with the weather. "Thank you to everyone who came and supported the event - look out for the next challenge on our Facebook page."

To find out more search for 'WillMackanessTrust' on Facebook.