Oxford MailThousands get in the pink for race to combat cancer (From Oxford Mail)

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Thousands get in the pink for race to combat cancer

Oxford Mail: Some of the Rave for Life runners Buy this photo Some of the Rave for Life runners

CANCER was given a kicking yesterday as more than 5,300 women ran, jogged, and walked their way through University Parks to raise cash to fight the disease.

The Race for Life event in Oxford is expected to have raised more than £350,000 for research – some of which will be done in the city.

Participants of the 5km city centre race dressed in pink and wore the names of those they were running for on their backs.

Matthew Arnold School pupil Sarah Davis, 15, was joined by more than 30 friends who all ran in memory of the teenager’s mum Catherine, who passed away last year.

She said: “It is lovely having lots of people doing it for the same cause. Seeing people with my mum’s name on their backs is really nice.”

Sarah has now raised more than £13,000 for Cancer Research UK.

Nicola Clarke, 33, from Grove, ran with daughter Bryony, 12, dressed in pink Morph suits in memory of mother-in-law Joy who died from cancer aged 61 in 2010.

She said: “We just think she would have laughed at us.”

Cancer Research UK spokeswoman Helen Johnstone said: “When you are going round you read the messages on people’s backs and that’s what inspires people to keep going.”

And she said the event was for everyone, adding: “It is not just the women who are taking part but their families come with them.

“It is a day for all the family because cancer affects everyone in the family. They have gone completely mad this year with pink and we never fail to be amazed by the fancy dress people come up with.

“We love the day despite the seriousness of the message.”

Daphne Norridge, 50, officially started the race after being given the all-clear following a five-year fight against breast cancer.

Mrs Norridge, from Kidlington, said: “It was a great turnout and I was so pleased so many ladies were there having fun but hopefully doing a good job at the same time and raising lots of money.”

Tresa Cooper, from Abingdon, ran with daughter Lauren Spraggs, 23, and Lynn Fathers, 50, and her daughter Laura, 25.

The 42-year-old said they were running in memory of all those they knew affected by cancer.

She said: “The atmosphere was amazing. It’s great, we need to get more people involved with this to try to fight cancer.”

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