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MORE than 1,000 women got down and dirty to raise money for the fight against cancer.

They waded through a muddy obstacle course in Basildon’s Gloucester Park in aid of Cancer Research UK.

The annual Race for Life fundraising extravaganza kicked off on Saturday with the Pretty Muddy challenge.

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The 5km event returned to the borough after it proved a huge success when it debuted at Northlands Park, Pitsea, last year.

Gill Burgess, events manager for Essex, said: “The Pretty Muddy event attracts people from all over Essex.

“It is only available at a few locations across the country and proved really popular when we first introduced it last year. It is really good fun, and offers something a bit different from the traditional race.”

The messy challenge was open to women and girls aged over 13.

It saw waves of 200 women set off every 15 minutes to to climb up, jump over or crawl under ten obstacles.

The event was followed by the 5km Race for Life on Sunday.

Thanks to research into cancer, survival rates have doubled in the past 40 years, despite the number of people being diagnosed going up.

Race for Life is organised and in aid of Cancer Research UK, and encourages women to have fun and get fit while fighting against the devastating condition.

  • SEE TODAY'S ECHO FOR AN EIGHT-PAGE SUPPLEMENT ON THE RACE FOR LIFE EVENT PLUS A DOUBLE PAGE SPREAD OF COMPETITORS AT PRETTY MUDDY ESSEX