RECORD numbers turned out for the second annual Run Ballarat this morning, raising more than $187,000 for the Ballarat Base Hospital children's ward.
More than 4200 men, women and children braved the early morning chill as they set off from City Oval for the running and walking event which included a 12km and 6km option.
Organisers said they were thrilled with the result which will see 100 per cent of all entry fees donated to the redevelopment of the children's ward.
Head paediatrician Dr David Tickell said the event was crucial in making sure the hospital had first class facilities for the treatment of children.
"We now have a fantastic chance to redevelop what is a ward that was originally built for adults and will allow us to keep a lot of kids in Ballarat for their ongoing paediatric care," he said.
"To see the amount of people here today and the support the people of Ballarat have shown is just incredible."
Marathon runner Nathan Hartigan won the 12km competition early in the morning, with a finishing time of 36 minutes and six seconds.
The 12km run began at 7.40am, followed by a 6km run and 6km walk.
The last stragglers crossed the finish line about 10am.
Ballarat father Ash Barlow was joined by his two sons Kayne, 14, and Jesse, 16, and said they became involved for both the fun and the great cause.
"The boys and I have been doing a bit of running and we thought we better have a go," he said.
"It really is a great cause and is very rewarding for Ballarat."
The scene at City Oval looked more like a carnival than a sports competition, with people cheering on family and friends.
There were also plenty of people in costumes, with The Courier spotting Superman, Batman and several animal-themed onesies.