FUNDRAISERS turned out in their hundreds bringing the colours of the rainbow to a 13-mile walking challenge for good causes on Saturday night.

Crowds in colourful costumes poured into Chalkwell Park from 4pm to warm up for the Moonlight Colourthon, which saw more than 600 people walk a half marathon around Southend to raise money for 136 different charities.

With a final total to be announced, the 12th Moonlight Colourthon raised more than £80,000, bringing the total amount raised by the event to almost £1.6 million.

Walkers set out at 6pm on the round route, which took in the length of the seafront, and were welcomed back to the park with tea, coffee, cake, and cheers from other fundraisers and stewards.

The last walkers, who took on the walk not only to raise money but also as a personal challenge as part of recovery from serious injuries, arrived back shortly after 12am Sunday morning.

The event was also attended by Southend West MP Sir David Amess and Southend Mayor councillor Derek Jarvis, who led a balloon release and took part in the event warm up.

Event co-ordinator Julian Hart, of Colbert Avenue, Thorpe Bay, said: “We were worried that the football might cause a lot of problems, but it really was the perfect day.

“There was a real party atmosphere, and with the great score, glorious weather, and high tides we couldn’t have asked for anything more.

“It’s always a great day, and yesterday was no exception - we are incredibly proud of this event and every year it seems to get better.

“I want to say a huge thank you not only to everybody who took part, but all the organisers, stewards, and caterers who worked so hard to make it run smoothly and keep everybody motivated.

“Without all of their efforts, none of this would be possible.”

Registration for next year’s event will open January 1, 2019, and is open to anyone walking for any registered charity.