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Video/Gallery: More than £157,000 raised by Race for Life runners who turned Chantry Park pink for Cancer Research UK

18:29 16 June 2014

Hundreds gather in Chantry Park Ipswich for Race For Life. 
Hannah Osbourne, Ava and Kerrie Prentice and Sandra Osbourne

Hundreds gather in Chantry Park Ipswich for Race For Life. Hannah Osbourne, Ava and Kerrie Prentice and Sandra Osbourne

Over 1,700 people passed through the gates of Chantry Park on Sunday morning to take part in this year’s Race for Life in Ipswich. Matthew Symington reports...

Hundreds gather in Chantry Park Ipswich for Race For Life. Hundreds gather in Chantry Park Ipswich for Race For Life.

The race, organised to show cancer who’s boss, saw women of all ages and backgrounds come together to raise money for Cancer Research UK by running either five or ten kilometres.

Most of the participants who gathered in front of the park’s stately home were clad in garish pink for the occasion, however many others chose to run the race in costume, and several had donned ‘onesies’.

The combined efforts of the participants saw a staggering £157,000 raised to help fight cancer.

On pieces of card attached to the back of their running shirts women wrote the names of those in their lives who have been affected by cancer.

Very few at the event did not have a personal story of how cancer had affected them or somebody they knew.

Two of the participants were Carol Allard and Ann Barnes from Debenham.

Carol said: “We’ve both lost a work colleague who has suffered cancer and I’ve got an auntie going through treatment at the moment as well as another distant relation. Everybody is affected by it.”

Ann has herself suffered from breast cancer, but has since recovered.

“Mine is five years away,” she said. “I’ll have my last oncology appointment in a few months. It’s only recently that I’ve been able to walk without pain.

“Within our village there are too many people who have gone through cancer. When I was writing the names on my back I just thought there’s too many.”

Both Carol and Ann beat their fundraising targets and have raised a combined total of £400.

Claire Pelling from Kesgrave, her friends Louise Grayston and Rachel Hammond, and their daughters Abbie, Ellie and Lily, were all doing the five kilometre race to support their friend Kerry.

Claire said: “Our lovely friend Kerry who is very young, she’s 38, and has a lovely family, three children and a lovely partner, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer with a big spread. We’re doing this for her along with several of our friends. She’s kept very positive and she’s going to beat this.”

This year’s race was the 14th to be organised by Cancer Research UK in Ipswich and was the first in the town to also host a 10k event, which 350 women signed up for.

Organiser Gemma Turpin said: “We’ve got a nice day and it’s not too hot for the ladies. It’s just fantastic when I look out and see all those ladies and there all here for the same reason. That’s what’s so fantastic about Race for Life.

“One in three people will get cancer at some point and one in four will lose their life.

“There’s a lot of celebration here today but there are also those who are remembering people we’ve lost so it’s about showing cancer that we can beat it and it’s about raising money that is going to make the difference to allow our doctors and scientists to do their research.”

Before the event a minute’s silence was held for the victims of cancer followed by loud cheers as the excited participants got ready to take part.

Musical performances took place on stage and Gemma took the opportunity to thank all of those who were taking part.

“In the hour it will take for most of you to take part in Race for Life, it’s really scary, but three people will hear the words, ‘you’ve got cancer’.

“For many of you here today it’s a lot more than just a walk, jog or run for Cancer Research UK, either you or someone you know has been affected by cancer.”

She added: “You are the people who are making the difference, you are taking part and raising that money.”

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