Video & Gallery: Pink power as women join Race for Life

An army of women clad in bright pink have boosted Suffolk’s fight against cancer.

The fight against cancer has received a huge pink boost after an army of fancy dress-clad women raised a staggering sum of cash for a leading charity.

The 2,000 runners who took part in the Race for Life event in Ipswich’s Chantry Park were today praised for their efforts after organisers revealed more than �140,000 had been pledged.

The park was transformed into a sea of pink yesterday, with women and children of all ages taking

part in the Cancer Research UK

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Organisers are hopeful the final amount raised will smash last year’s bumper total of �143,000.

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Gemma Turpin, from Cancer Research, paid tribute to the participants.

“It was an absolutely amazing event,” she said.

“The atmosphere was electric and the warm-up before the race was so much fun.

“The women are always so up for it when they do it, because cancer has such an impact on so many people.

“The race brings everyone together – it’s fantastic.”

All the money raised will go towards the charity’s mandate of working to find a cure for the disease.

Once under starter’s orders, competitors completed a five-kilometre run around the park roared on by hundreds of spectators.

Donning wigs, feather boas, tutus and bunny ears, woman dressed in varying shades of pink ran, jogged or walked the route.

The race was an emotional occasion for many, with the majority of those taking part doing so in memory of lost loved ones or family and friends currently battling cancer.

Katie Barber, of Ipswich, ran in memory of her best friend, Naomi.

The 21-year-old said the race had been a moving experience for all who had taken part.

She said: “It was extremely emotional, but I am so proud to have taken part in it and made a difference.

“I lost one of my best friends four years ago and I ran for her. She would have been 21 this year and no one deserves to suffer from this disease.

“She was my first friend and I miss her.”

Clare Clarke and Helen Springall, both from Hadleigh, took part in the challenge in memory of loved ones.

Ms Clarke, 33, said she signed up for the race to support Cancer Research UK after two of her family members lost their battles with the disease.

She said: “I decided to do it in memory of my aunt, who died at 49, and my cousin, who died at 28.

“It was for them – Christine and Craig. Craig was always helping others out and raising money for charity and so I really wanted to continue what he loved doing.

“It’s been such a fantastic day. I’m so completely proud of myself.”

Helen, whose mother is a cancer survivor, also raised vital funding for the charity, having lost her step-dad to liver cancer.

The 37-year-old said: “My mum was diagnosed at 56 and she is a survivor. I think she would be proud of me.

“My step-dad died of liver cancer, four weeks after being diagnosed.

“I also did it for every person who has ever been affected by the disease.”

Also taking part were Anna Whatling and Ellen Rolfe.

Anna Whatling, who lost her two aunts to cancer 30 years ago, said: “We ran for every person affected by cancer.”

The 32-year-old, of Birkfield Drive, Ipswich, who donned a spectacular pink wig, said one of her closest friends was currently battling the disease.

Ellen Rolfe was running in tribute to her mother-in-law who lost her fight two years ago.

The pair have taken part for the last five years.

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