We’re in the pink to help beat cancer: Thousands take part in Race For Life in Shrewsbury - with pictures and video
They came in their thousands, all of them wearing pink.
The Quarry in Shrewsbury was filled for the annual Race for Life event, raising tens of thousands of pounds for research into cancer.
With the recent rain replaced by warm hazy sunshine, there were plenty of smiles to be seen as women, men and many associated pets made their way around a five kilometre route.
Those expecting an easy walk in the park were in for a shock as the course wound up and down the bank in the park by the side of the River Severn.
But whether racing off in front, walking or even being pushed those taking part completed the course amid cheers and tears from supporters. It was an emotional morning as many were running in memory of those who lost their lives to cancer.
The event is one of scores taking place across the UK to raise money for Cancer Research UK, including one coming up in Chester on July 7. Those taking part donned pink, in the form of T-shirts, wigs and tutus.
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While some treated the race as a serious workout, most either jogged or walked the course around the Quarry.
And many taking part had a personal experience with cancer.
Ashley Potts and daughters, Megan, 19 and Jade, 21, from Bicton, near Shrewsbury, took part to celebrate husband Neil’s successful treatment, just 12 weeks ago, for testicular cancer.
At the Quarry to support the family, Neil, also had a message for all men, to check themselves regularly.
He was there to cheer them on and said he wanted to share his cancer scare to help others.
He said: “It is importance to raise awareness of all cancers.
“I would say to blokes to ensure they check themselves regularly and if they notice a lump or anything unusual seek help straight away.”
“It really was a scary time for all of us, “ said Jade.
Megan is used to running but Ashley and Jade said this would be their first experience in a race.
Remembering their grandmother Betty Cox were sisters and cousins from Ludlow, Libby, 19, and Mya Crippin, 18, Neve Tonkinson, 14 and Ellie Mackenzie, 16.
Mrs Cox died on June 1, aged 73 and the teenager said they would always remember her spoiling them and making wonderful cakes. Mandy Richards, from Oswestry, has walked the race four times but said this time she would be running. “I will be remembering lots of people I have known,” she said.
Rob Francis was one of the few men who took part after the rules were changed from a women-only event. He urged other men to take part next year with or without pink T-shirts. Rob dressed completely in pink, including a tutu, not only for the run but at work on the Friday at Bromborough Paints, Battlefield, to raise money. He did the race with wife, Helen, who herself sported a knitted pink wig.
“We aren’t doing it for anyone in particular but for everyone. We are all touched by cancer in some way,” Helen said.
Friends Carol Davies, Jo Jones and Myfany Purcell said they had started running and decided the Race for Life was a great way to ensure that they trained.
Anna Jones, 12, completed the Race for Life with sister Katie, 14, and mum Wendy, with proud dad, Marcus as team supporter.
It was a proud moment for Mr and Mrs Jones, from Kinnerley, who, when Anna was a baby, were given the devastating news that she had cancer.
Anna, now fit and healthy, was just seven months old when her parents noticed a lump in her tummy.
“We were told it was a Wilms tumour, a tumour in her kidney,” Mr Jones said.
“Apparently there are only on average 75 cases a year of Wilms.”
Anna had the affected kidney removed and went on to make a full recovery.
“Because she was so young her remained kidney grew larger and stronger to compensate so Anna has not problems now,” Mrs Jones said.
The two sisters go to Corbett School, Baschurch where they do sport but said this was the first time they had done Race for Life. The family raised about £250.
Mum 3, Cancer 0, was the message on Katherine Castle back as she lined up at the start of Race for Life with mother, Karen.
For Karen, 57, has beaten cancer three times leaving Katherine, 22, proud of her.
“She has fought the whole way and has let nothing beat her,” Katherine said. Karen, from Belle Vue, Shrewsbury, who has three daughters, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004.
“It was the most aggressive kind and I had a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and then went on a two-year Herceptin drug trial,” she said.
A year after the trial ended, in 2007, the cancer spread to her brain and doctors feared she had just weeks to live.
But she defied the odds and went back on Herceptin. Since then she has also had treatment for thyroid cancer.
“I am still here, still fighting and I have been so lucky to see my girls grow up,” she said.
Mum and daughter have raised £100 with their run.
As well as those taking part, dozens of other people gave up their morning to help with marshalling and other jobs.
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