Sea of pink floods popular park

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NOWTON Park was a sea of pink on Sunday as thousands of women dressed up to take part in this year’s Bury St Edmunds Race For Life event.

The sun shone, inspiring stories were shared and new friends were made among the many participants who did their bit to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Women of all ages, from a variety of backgrounds, walked, jogged and ran the 5km course during two races.

The first, which sold out weeks ago, had 2,000 runners and took place at 11am.

The other, which took place in the heat of the day at 2.30pm, had more than 1,000 participants.

Cancer survivor Frances Beeton took part in the afternoon race with her granddaughter and a friend, dressed in tutus, pink gloves, Cancer Research UK T-shirts and a wig.

The 65-year-old, from Bury, said: “I didn’t run, I paced myself by speed walking. They speeded on ahead and very often I caught them up. All the time we were laughing together, talking and having a good time.

“I finished it in 53 minutes – I really do feel that is an achievement for me.”

Mrs Beeton was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago and womb cancer two years later.

“You couldn’t believe that everybody there had a reason because of a person or persons to run that race. So many people are inflicted with this dreadful disease one way or another,” she said.

Hundreds of spectators offered racers their support, clapping and screaming as one by one they crossed the finish line.

“It was a great feeling and a great atmosphere. People who weren’t participating in the race itself stayed by the lines and cheered us through,” said Mrs Beeton.

Race organiser Heidi Connell, who has survived cervical cancer, said: “Year after year in Bury we can’t thank everybody enough for the support they give to Race For Life. To still have over 3,000 people taking part in Bury is a massive achievement. We really wouldn’t be able to raise the funding to make research happen without events like this.”

Among other jobs, volunteers helped to set up the course, give medals and goody bags to participants and hand out water bottles.

“We pride ourselves in running really organised events at Cancer Research UK and the weather’s something that we’re always really prepared for. We gave out messages before the races for people to keep hydrated and gave out water,” said Ms Connell.