NEWCASTLE’S Town Moor became a sea of pink yesterday as thousands of women celebrated friends and loved- ones in the annual Race for Life.
Runners of all ages and abilities took part in the event, which is organised by Cancer Research UK. More than 7,000 women donned pink T-shirts, tutus and other forms of fancy dress as they covered the 5km route around the moor.Related content
The run saw more than 2,000 extra people take part compared with last year’s event.
Among those running for the first time was Kerry Brewster. The 25-year-old, who was running in memory of her mum Valerie Richards, was selected to officially start the race.
She said: “My mum died in February this year. She was only 59 and was the happiest, bubbliest person I have ever known. She died from liver cancer in St Oswald’s Hospice. The care she received in her final days was very good and the staff there couldn’t have done more.”
Kerry, from Pegswood, Northumberland, said: “I decided to do the Race for Life to help find a cure for cancer. It’s going to be something I’ll do every year from now on. It was a great privilege to be able to start the race. Looking out on all those women who have in some way been affected by cancer was very moving.”
The run usually takes place in Exhibition Park but building work this year meant the start and finish was relocated to the Town Moor. Runners were taken through a mass warm-up before the race and also heard stories from cancer survivors and those carrying out research into the disease.
One of those was Professor Andy Hall, director of the Northern Institute for Cancer Research. He said: “Events like this are absolutely vital. Apart form the cost of the buildings and the salaries of some of the staff everything we do is paid for by charities such as Cancer Research UK.
“It costs £5m a year to fund the work we do and it is events like this which make it possible. Cancer doesn’t realise that there is a recession going on so it’s important fundraising events like this continue to be popular.
“Every woman out there today is raising money and when it is all put together it makes a massive difference to the research work we do. I think it is very important that it is a women-only event.
“If it was open to men a lot of women would be put of by what they see as a competitive event but the camaraderie that comes from an all woman event makes this a real pleasure to be part of.”
Event manager Holly Howey said the event had been a huge success. She explained: “The atmosphere here today has been amazing. To see so many women warming up together and then going round the course supporting each other just goes to show how battling cancer brings people together and how it affects people from all walks of life.
“People who take part in the Newcastle event really do see the money they raise getting used locally as Newcastle is one of the major centres carrying out research which we support.”