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SLIDESHOW: Thousands of women and children descend on Nowton Park for Race for Life

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Inspired by family, friends and all others affected by cancer, more than 2,800 women and children put their best foot forward around Nowton Park to raise vital funds to help beat the disease.

Donning eye-catching pink t-shirts and fancy dress, the crowds descended on the Bury St Edmunds beauty spot for Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life - completing 5k and 10k circuits and are estimated to have raised £183,000.

Before the races, a minute’s silence was held in honour of those affected by cancer including Bury St Edmunds mum Amanda Coppins, who died aged 44 last week after raising more than £5,000 for West Suffolk Hospital.

Rachel Parratt, area event manager for Cancer Research UK, said: “It was an absolutely incredible day - the atmosphere was just fantastic. It was one of those very emotional races. The ladies of Bury really do believe in the cause.”

Many took part as a tribute to loved ones.

Elaine Mason, 42, and Diane Clark, 47, of Stradishall, were running in memory of best friend Debbie Carr, of Bury, who died aged 45 of breast cancer three years ago.

They said: “It’s a really good atmosphere. Our target is to raise as much money as we can each year to help others.”

Sue Fullman, 61, and Trina Rankin, of Bury, took part in tribute to a good friend who died of leukaemia seven years ago. Mrs Fullman, whose sister Christina survived cancer, was also running for former St Louis Middle School teacher Fred Grimsey who recently passed away.

They said: “You feel as if you’re doing something really positive. Everyone is doing it for everyone else. Everyone has a sad story but they’re all trying to do something positive. It’s actually very emotional.”

Janice Downham, 53, of Hockwold, whose sister-in-law has been diagnosed with leukaemia, joined a team from her work Silverline Office Equipment, in Mildenhall, wearing 1970’s disco costumes.

She said: “It’s lovely to see the amount of people here today just under one banner. We’re all fighting to help beat cancer and the setting is just lovely.”

Jo Lundy, head at St Edmundsbury Primary School, who lost her aunt to cancer in March, was taking part in her fifth Race for Life.

She said: “It was emotional, exhilarating and incredibly worthwhile experience to raise awareness yet again. It’s very well organised and gets bigger and better each year.”

For more pictures see Friday’s Bury Free Press newspaper.

 

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