NEARLY 500 runners took part in the eighth Kirste 5 Memorial Race.

The race, which was started in 2012 to remember local breast cancer victim Kirste Bowman (nee Snellgrove) was once again held at Grove Wood Primary School in Rayleigh.

Children and family members started proceedings, with the one mile family run and wins for Poppy Pepper and Henry Miller.

Henry was the first finisher in an impressive time of seven minutes, nine seconds.

The main race, which had 378 finishers, was won by Stuart Cable from Leigh on Sea Striders with Lindsey Colman from Southend AC the first female to finish the five mile race.

The event, which raises funds for the Southend Breast Cancer Unit and Macmillan Nurses, saw multi-coloured runners in pink and green attire enjoying the sunshine and the varied course from Grove Woods, Hockley Woods, Cherry Orchard Country Park and New England Wood.

The event is on course to raise over £5,000 for the two charities this year, taking the overall total for the last eight years to £47,000 raised.

And race director Karl Cadman was thrilled to see the community again coming together to make the event another success.

“It was once again a real community race with local clubs and running groups taking charge of marshalling areas, friends and family helping at HQ, and the ladies of WINK - Women’s Institute New Konnections - looking after the luxurious cake stall,” said Cadman.

“Friends of Cherry Orchard Country Park also manned a cheer point by the lake and we thank everyone for their support in helping us with the race.”

Sgt Kirste Bowman, nee Snellgrove, 42, lost her battle against breast cancer in February 2012.

After being diagnosed with cancer in 2005, brave Bowman made it her mission to raise awareness of the disease.

Over the next seven years, she raised more than £50,000 for breast cancer charities by running 23 marathons while fighting the disease.

She also worked in many of the police stations across south Essex.

All profits from the race are donated equally between Macmillan Cancer Support and Southend Hospital Breast Unit.