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Race for Life: Leicester park turned pink


The green of a city park was awash with a sea of pink as thousands of women took part in Cancer Research's Race for Life yesterday.

Held for the first time at Victoria Park, wave after wave of pink-clad runners and walkers – many in fancy dress – swept across the park.

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The air crackled with positivity in a carnival atmosphere as more than 5,000 women, determined to help raise money for research to fight the disease, strode out with purpose.

Some did it to remember loved ones lost, or reflect on family members currently undergoing treatment, but many were there to celebrate the news that they or a family member had beaten the disease.

Michelle Goodwin, 45, who was there as one of the 20 mums and daughters who made up the team, Enderby Massive, has just been declared cancer-free after treatment for breast cancer, including two lumpectomies and having a lymph node removed.

She said: "I've got to undergo five weeks of radiotherapy because of my age just to be doubly sure, but I'm now cancer-free."

Michelle, whose efforts raised more than £1,500, including £500 from her boss, Richard Telfer, at Watling JCB, where she is PA and HR manager, said: "I'm running with all my friends who have supported me through the cancer.

"They've made me realise how lucky I am to have that support and we're all determined to do what we can to raise money for research into fighting cancer."

Sarah Bramley, 38, was running with the 13-strong Sisters Grimm team from Oadby and Wigston – dressed as Snowths, from The Muppets TV show – on behalf of a mother lost to cancer, a grandmother in palliative care and a friend fighting breast cancer.

She said: "We just all think it's so important to be here to help in the fight against cancer."

Sharon Bartlett, 43, of Braunstone, who has been in remission for two months after having treatment for a year fighting bladder cancer, was running in memory of a friend, Tracey O'Neill.

Tracey, of Braunstone, died in her 40s from cervical cancer which then spread.

Sharon, who was taking part with daughters Abbie, seven, and Sophie, four, and friend Lisa Goodwin, 40, of Kirby Frith, said: "Without more research there won't be new drugs to fight cancer, so it's very important to be here today.

"I was too ill to take part last year because I had just had a major operation."

Emily Kirton, 30, of Glen Parva, was running for her 54-year-old mother who has beaten breast cancer and her 84-year-old grandmother, who recovered from cancer of the jaw.

Emily said:"I'm taking part to celebrate and to raise funds so that more people can do the same."

Sisters Nikita Turnell, 19, Ginny Turnell, Vicky Beach, Anne Bithell, 31, and friend Kirsty Smith, 21, of the Anstey and Beaumont Leys areas, were running to celebrate their dad David Turnell, 63, having beaten cancer of the lymph nodes last year.

Ginny said: "We're running to celebrate Dad beating cancer and because they were very good at Leicester Royal Infirmary. We've raised about £500 between us."

Mother and daughter Mandi and Charlotte Poole, of Kirkby Mallory, near Hinckley, were also celebrating after Charlotte's grandmother Diane Poole, 63, beat breast cancer six months ago.

Mandi, 41, said: "We've run it before and it's very close to home.

"I just love the atmosphere and running with my daughter and knowing you're doing some good."

More than 3,600 women took part in a 5k event in the morning, with 1,500 taking part in the 10k run in the afternoon.

Katie Martin, events manager for Cancer Research UK, said; "It's a new venue because we've previously held it at Western Park.

"It's been absolutely fantastic and it's a day to celebrate that more people are beating cancer as well as remembering those who have been lost."

Here are some of your tweets and words of encouragement - Keep your tweets, pictures and Race for Life stories coming tweet us @Leicester_Merc #Race4LifeLeics

Race for Life: Leicester park turned pink

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