Buzz Lightyear swung in mid-air on a rope, devils chased Spiderman and Super Mario fought for birthday presents with faceless green men. It might sound like a jumble of animated movie scenes but the characters came alive in yesterday's Central Rat Race, which this year raised a record HK$2.43 million for the mental health charity Mindset. More than 400 office staff and executives from 48 teams donned wacky costumes for the event, with sections of main thoroughfares and corridors in office blocks and malls in Central turned into a 2.5km obstacle course. It was especially festive as the race, in its fifth year, was themed a 'birthday celebration'. Runners had to pass through a pile of birthday gifts, navigate several doughnut towers, and make their way across a rope bridge over a pond. Teams had to carry a jumbo birthday cake across the finish line. The CB Richard Ellis team was the big winner, winning both the team Rat Race and the individual Big Rat Race, which was designed for senior executives taking a shorter route. Managing director Craig Shute won the Big Rat Race for the second consecutive year. Team leader Anthony Phillips said they did not practise for the run but some members were very fit, being rugby players. The team, in snug-fit green bodysuits that covered their faces, wore the mask of their boss, Shute. The best-dressed team award went to staff of Aedas, who sported traditional Chinese costumes that resembled the God of Longevity. Team members said they chose the outfit to match the race's theme. 'Other teams would not have thought of wearing traditional clothing. We wanted to be the most outstanding team,' one member said. Democratic Party lawmakers Lee Wing-tat and James To Kun-sun took part in the Big Rat Race dressed as Batman and Robin. 'We want to be the friends of justice, beating all the bad guys,' Lee said. Secretary for Development Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said at the launch ceremony that she hoped the race could be extended to upper parts of Central in future years, when a conservation project in the district was completed. Organised by Hongkong Land, this year's event was co-sponsored by several organisations, including Central and Western District Council, JP Morgan, UBS and the South China Morning Post. Last year's race raised HK$1.3 million and donations in 2008 topped HK$2.38 million.