THOUSANDS of women joined the biggest fight against cancer by taking part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life at the Pontefract Park on Sunday.
Toddlers, teenagers and twenty-somethings joined together with mums, grans, aunties, friends and workmates in a spectacular array of fairy wings, feather boas and fancy dress in every shade of pink imaginable.
Now organisers are saying a heartfelt thanks to everyone who took part – and urging them to return their sponsorship money to fund vital research into 200 types of cancer.
Philippa Sharpe, Race for Life event manager for Pontefract, said: “Race for Life in Pontefract was a fantastic event and we are so very grateful to everyone who took part or supported our participants, as well as the wonderful volunteers who helped make the event happen.
“Now the big day is over, we are asking our supporters to take one last step – by returning the money they’ve raised so it can go into vital research to help more men, women and children survive cancer.”
Sunday’s event was started by Laura Pickles from Dewsbury, who tackled the 10k race in memory of her dad who lost his battle with lung cancer only last week.
Philippa said: “Laura wanted to take part in the 10K event in memory of her dad who was diagnosed with the disease just five months ago. She cheered the 2,500 ladies across the start line before participating in the race herself. It was an emotional day for her.”
She added: “Now the big day is over, we are asking our supporters to take one last step – by returning the money they’ve raised so it can go into vital research to help more men, women and children survive cancer.
“Cancer Research UK doesn’t receive any government funding for its ground-breaking work. So the money people in Pontefract raise through Race for Life is crucial because it means we can go on supporting the pioneering work of doctors, nurses and scientists who are fighting cancer on all fronts. “Many people don’t realise that their entry fee only covers the cost of the event. It’s the sponsorship money that really makes a difference.”
Cancer survival rates have doubled since the 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.
Today, more than 95 per cent of men diagnosed with testicular cancer are cured. More women are surviving breast cancer and more children are surviving childhood cancers than ever before.
But research is expensive so Cancer Research UK needs the people of Pontefract to help raise £150,000 from the Race for Life event to support it.
Philippa added: “Despite improvements in treatment, we still have a long way to go. One in four people in the UK will die from cancer. With the help of people in Pontefract we want to change that.
“So, whatever the amount, we’re asking everyone to make every effort to return their sponsorship money as soon as possible. It can be paid in online, by phone or by cheque.”
For more information visit www.raceforlife.org, call O871 641 1111, or send cheques payable to Cancer Research UK, to Race for Life, PO Box 442, Northampton, NN3 6UU.
Until October 31, everyone who crossed the finish line at Pontefract Race for Life can buy a pre-paid place for next year’s event, at a specially reduced entry fee of £10. Participants will receive a voucher code so they can book a place as soon as the Race for Life website goes live in January. Visit www.raceforlife.org/earlybird or call 0871 641 1111 mentioning ‘I want to be an early bird’.