By day, Dr Meenali Shirodaria carries out vital cancer research at the Churchill Hospital.

But by night she is training hard to compete in this year’s Race for Life.

Dr Shirodaria, 36, from Headington, Oxford, said: “This will be my first time, but I am really looking forward to it.

“My mother lives in India and has recovered from breast cancer, so this seemed like a fantastic time to enter Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, to say thank you for the fabulous treatment she received and also to do my bit to raise money for more research into finding a cancer cure.”

Race for Life is Oxford’s biggest fundraising race and this year takes place at University Parks on Sunday, July 15.

Organisers hope thousands of women will take part in the 5km event, which raises vital funds for cancer research undertaken in Oxfordshire.

Mum-of-two Dr Shirodaria is currently researching urological cancers of the bladder and prostate for Cancer Research UK.

And in a bid to get fit for Race for Life, she has joined a running group.

She said: “A friend of mine is a member of a running group and suggested I join.

“I am now a member of Active Women which runs a weekly beginners’ jogging group at 7pm on a Thursday at OXSRAD Leisure Centre in Marston, Oxford.

“We are all on a special programme whereby we start off small; running for a minute, then walking for a minute, and then we build up our running every week.

“I love it. My fitness is growing and I have really caught the bug, running for an extra two sessions each week on top of running with the group.

“By the time Race for Life comes around I hope to be running the full 5km in about half an hour.

“My daughters Ayanna, six, and Surina, two, both think it’s fabulous I’m taking part.

“Ayanna has been giving me tips, saying I should pace myself, and they have both promised to be there at the finish line waiting for me with my husband Cheerag on the day.

“My friends and family have also been very generous in sponsoring me and I am already up to £185.”

Cancer Research UK spent more than £21m last year in Oxford on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research.

One major initiative is the Cancer Research UK/MRC Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology, which brings together world-class scientists and doctors to transform the future of radiotherapy treatment for people with cancer.

lEnter now at raceforlife. For more details on Active Women, contact Courtney Warden on 01865 252729 or The Oxford Mail would like to hear from other women taking part in this year’s Race for Life. Email