A SEA of pink transformed Basildon’s Gloucester Park as thousands of women took on this year’s Race for Life.

As well as pulling on their trainers, mums, daughters, sisters and friends put on tutus, feather boas and colourful wigs as they united to say “cancer, we’re coming to get you!”.

They showed the true meaning of girl power by walking, jogging or running the 5k course, covered in glitter, sequins, flowers and all things pink.

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More than 6,000 people took part in this year’s Basildon leg of the huge event, which organisers expect will have raised at least £330,000 to support Cancer Research UK.

Two 5k races took place – one in the morning and one in the evening – and both were packed with eager fundraisers.

Many groups gave themselves nicknames, such as the Benfleet Belles, Sassy Girls, Divalicious and the Pink Ladies.

Gill Burgess, Race for Life event manager, said: “Everyone has a very special or personal reason for taking part in the event. The money we have raised in Basildon is going to allow us to fund groundbreaking research.

“We use the word lifechanging far too much – but this event is exactly that.

“In the one hour it takes most women to cross the finish line, another three people in the East of England will have been diagnosed with cancer.

“This money is going to help them spend longer with their families.”

The fun kicked off with an energetic dance warm-up, and the huge crowd also heard heart-moving stories to remind them why they were taking on the Race for Life.

At the end of the race, women were encouraged to grab the hand of the person next to them as they crossed the finish line as a show of unity.

The event was provided a mixture of emotions, with laughter and beaming smiles, as well as tears of sadness as participants remembered loved ones they had lost.

The sun shone down on the morning Race for Life, but runners in the afternoon did not left the light rain dampen their spirits.

Organisers from Cancer Research UK will soon begin organising the 2015 event.

For more information, visit www.cancerresearchuk.org. 


Get stuck-in! It’s Pretty Muddy

HUNDREDS of women jogged, ran and climbed their way over a muddy obstacle course to raise cash for Cancer Research UK.

Gloucester Park, in Basildon, played host to the Pretty Muddy event where hardy fundraisers clambered over hay bales and crawled through mud under cargo nets.

The event was staged the day before thousands of south Essexwomen took part in the Basildon Race for Life at the park.

Julie Ludlow, writing on the Echo’s Facebook page, said: “It is different from the usual Race for Life as it has lots of mud, obstacles and challenges along the way, but none of this compares to the challenges that those affected by cancer have to go through.

“I think we are all in a privileged position to be able to go and take part. It is a great event and hopefully raised lots of money for a very worthy cause. It was a great atmosphere and, yes, we all enjoyed it. I cannot wait to sign up again next year.”

Joanne Barton added: “It was the ForDivasgroup’s fifth year racing and our first year at the Pretty Muddy event. The atmosphere and sheer spirit of all the staff, volunteers and of course the participants were absolutely amazing and we can’t wait for 2015.”

Emma Drury-Ward said: “I took partwith my 72-year-old, disabled mum Marion Drury and we both completed every obstacle!

“I am so proud of my mum, she has fought cancer herself. 

“She also had a stroke a couple of years ago and she has never once missed taking part in Race for Life with me and this year we did the Pretty Muddy race in Basildon.”

  • To see a gallery of pictures from Race for Life click here and for Pretty Muddy Essex click here