A bride-to-be and a former soldier were among those who joined serious runners for the first ever Rainbow Run.

Nearly 100 runners took part in the 5km run in Preston Park yesterday, organised by Brighton Pride to raise money for local LGBT groups.

The run was awash with colour and included fancy dress boxes for runners to spruce up their costumes on the way round.

Jonathan Terry, 43, of Hove, said he and friends wanted to support local groups, adding: “I do a lot of work for mental health. Running and exercise are the cheapest and most readily available anti-depressants in the world.

“Even when I don’t want to go for a run I go with my headphones on and get lost in the music and looking out on to the sea. It makes you feel so good.”

His friend Adam Betteridge, 40, of Saltdean, said he liked the way funds were raised for the LGBT community.

Alice Clark, 38, ran in high-heeled trainers and was covered in glitter, joined by friend Denise Jeffreys, 52, of Eastbourne.

Ms Clark said: “It lets us have an excuse to dress up and run round the park – mostly for the fun but it’s a wonderful cause.”

Iraq war veteran Cara Schofield, 32, said she wanted to support Pride.

She said: “Pride has been a much better event since you have had to pay for it and it is well organised.

“It is also good to put money back into the community.”

One runner who did not make it beyond the disco music warm up was Ally-Marie Fisher, who never intended to be there at all.

The 26-year-old, of London, was on a belated hen weekend in the city and two running-mad friends only told her in the morning a 5k run was part of the fun.

She said: “My husband proposed to me about three weeks before we got married so I did not have time to do all the other stuff.

“We decided in February that we wanted to come to Brighton but thought we would not come until the summer.

“They just told me last night that they were going to wake me up really early. But I don’t like running.”

The Rainbow Run followed the Doggy Pride event held last weekend.