A record 58 teams, one more than last year, and about 600 runners in wacky costumes took part in the Matilda Sedan Chair Race along Mt Kellett Road on The Peak yesterday. The race started at 10am at Matilda International Hospital, with eight runners from each team carrying a sedan chair with one passenger around Mt Kellett. Race rules require the passenger to be over 18 and 'alive and human'. Women's and schools' teams were allowed to carry a dummy - usually a rice bag - weighing at least 11kg. The race was staged over two courses: the 'A' course of 3.2km for more competitive teams and the less-demanding 'B' course of 2.1km for teams with spectacular costumes and elaborately decorated sedan chairs. The colourful array of teams competed for awards such as fastest finisher, best decorated chair, most entertaining and the biggest fund-raiser. Peter Klaus, 61, team leader of the Swiss Association, which won the trophy for the best-decorated chair, a Star Ferry, said winning was not the main motivation. 'We have participated in the race for 27 years in a row and it is the fun and charity which encourage us to take part,' he said. Mr Klaus said the costumes were supplied by the Star Ferry Company and the team had been painstaking in decorating their chair. Winnie Heimgartner, the sedan chair's passenger, said their team spirit was great and she fully trusted her teammates. 'It was a bit bumpy. But I have 10 years of experience in the race and I believed my teammates would not let me fall,' she said. The event has raised more than HK$40 million for charities since it started 31 years ago. The organisers anticipated yesterday's race would reap HK$3.5 million and benefit about 30 charities. Sedan chairs played an important part in the city's history. In the 19th century, they were the private transport of the rich, many of whom lived on The Peak. When the Matilda International Hospital opened in 1907, sedan chairs were used to transport patients from the Peak Tram terminus to the hospital.