Thousands race for cancer charities

THOUSANDS of women and men dug out their running shoes in a show of solidarity to beat a killer disease.

Russell Claydon

THOUSANDS of women and men dug out their running shoes in a show of solidarity to beat a killer disease.

More than 2,500 female competitors took part in the Race For Life for Cancer Research UK in Ipswich's Chantry Park yesterday - the eighth event to be staged there.

People ran, jogged or walked their way through the 5km course in brilliant sunshine to raise more than £170,000 for cancer research.

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Many of the runners wore messages on the back of their shirts dedicating their run to loved ones they had lost to the disease.

In a moving start to the race the organisers asked the sea of pink competitors to raise a hand if they knew of someone who had lost a fight against cancer before a “moment's silence” was held for them.

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While some people turned out for the event with messages emblazoned “I race for future generations” or “running for everybody who suffers from cancer” others had more had more personal reasons for putting themselves through the pain barrier.

Lisa Goughan, of Capel St Mary, was running in memory of her father who died of pancreatic cancer three and a half years ago.

“There is no cure for it at the moment so hopefully the more people keep raising we might be able to save people like my dad.”

Caroline Bell from Martlesham, who was racing for her partner's wife who died from cancer 20 years ago to the day, said: “She died of breast cancer and I have also lost other members of my family - I am running for my son Jason as well. I think we can beat it (cancer). Recovery rates are getting so much better now.”

Kim Bassingthwaighte, from Martlesham Heath ran the race for her mother in law, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy and was too ill to make it to Chantry Park.

She completed the course in 27 minutes and said it had been very emotional with a great atmosphere.

The first woman to cross the line did so in 17minutes, but Gemma Turpin, the event organiser, said everyone who turned out deserved their medals.

“It has been absolutely fantastic. The sun came out for us just in time,” she said.

“There were 2,500 women with their arms in the air all in pink and it was a brilliant day. It was my first year organising in Ipswich - my home town - and everybody just comes out and takes part. It is now so important for people to get the pennies back to us but we are confident that we might smash the target this year.

“The statistics are that one in three people is affected by cancer and one in four will die from the disease so people out there had a story to tell and everyone wants to come together. It is not about where you come it is about being here.”

She added that more than 350 men for the first men's version of the race - a 5km Run For Moore (organised by the Bobby Moore Fund to help tackle bowel cancer) - was a really good first year for the event in Ipswich and hoped it would encourage more men to get on the start line next year.

Jerry Rowe, 43, of Felixstowe Road in Ipswich, said he was running because his girlfriend's dad had died of cancer.

He added: “It is a very important cause. Hopefully I'll raise a couple of hundred pounds.

“It is a great day with a very fun atmosphere which makes me really look forward to the race.

“I'm definitely pleased I'm here.”

There are still places available for the July Ipswich south Race For Life and anyone interested can sign up for the Tesco sponsored event on the website

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