Friday, 24 July 2009

Race for life 2009

Last sunday was our annual day out at the Race for Life at Aintree racecourse (I've no idea how the girls get over those jumps!) in support of Cancer Research and on a more personal level, in support of my Aunty Cathy who is now cancer free after battling and beating breast cancer. This year was our 5th year at the Race for Life and I'm sure we'll be attending for many years to come.

For those who don't know how the Race for Life works, it's an annual event run by Cancer Research at venues up and down the country. To quote the Race for Life website:

"Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life is the largest women-only fundraising event in the UK.

Since 1994, women of all ages and fitness levels across the UK have come together at these inspiring events.

Some take part in celebration of surviving a cancer experience. Others take part in memory of a loved one or to give hope to a cancer-free future. But all of them share a common goal: to raise money for Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work to beat cancer."

It's a fabulous event, it's a very emotional atmosphere, people are running for a lot of different reasons, my family run to celebrate Aunty Cathy's recovery from cancer, but lot's of people are running in memory of someone special, but the mood of togetherness is apparent from the moment you approach the venue.

Local radio stations do a great job on the PA system of getting everyone fired up for the start, there's a mass aerobic warm up (which is hilarious!) and people are raring to go when the gun fires!

I look on every year enviously at the girls heading off to the start line together. You don't get the buzz and emotional atmosphere at any other event. I'm a (reasonably!) keen runner and cyclist and a fledging triathlete (yes, having completed a triathlon I am allowed to call myself a triathlete!) and so I enter quite a few different events every year. But I wish I could be a part of this one. Which is why I think we always turn out in decent numbers to support our girls, because that's the closest we can get to being involved. It really is an amazing experience every time.

And so some shots from the day!

Our girls (minus my Mum and sister Kate who were still tying their trainers!)

The start!

It's great when girls really throw themselves into the spirit of the event:

Here come our girls! My cousin Jill (6942), my Aunty V (7302), my sister Kate (6902) and my Mum (6900)

My beautiful wife, Emma, gives the camera a big wave!

It's always really emotional seeing who people are running for - our girls all had Aunty Cathy's name on their backs:

My cousin Ruth and niece Caitlin spot me!

Aunty Anne went round with Caitlin and did a great job!

Aunty Clare and my cousin Beth (Aunty Cathy's daughter) jogged round together.

My cousin's (from left to right) Alice and Sarah went off so quickly at the beginning that I missed them on the first corner! Sarah was probably the most glamourous runner there - even when she finished she still looked like she was ready to go straight out for a night on the town! Not a bead of sweat in sight and perfect makeup all the way round!

Just going past the 3K mark and Aunty V was doing great under Jill's one to one coaching (Jill did the London Marathon this year and similar to Sarah, didn't break much of a sweat!)

Mum and Kate just passing 3K...

Kate was digging deep but looking comfortable coming past 3k (Emma does a lot of running as well - hence the reason she had enough energy to get her hand in the air every few yards!)

Aunty Clare and Beth pass 3k:

The big finish:

Aunty V and Jill round the final corner before the finish line:

Emma and Kate come over the line with Mum. I was particularly proud of my Mum this year who didn't think she'd be able to run it all the way after a fall last year (not in the race) left her with a shattered shoulder that has taken a huge amount of recovery from. She's still facing another operation to get as much mobility back as possible, but it's been a year of ups and downs for her, numerous visits and stays in hospital so running all the way round a 5k course was a real achievement for her. Well done Mum!

It's a fabulous event and I was so proud of everybody in my family for going back for the 5th year running. One of the Race for Life's biggest problems in terms of getting runners there on the day is they suffer from a lack of 'repeat business'. Many women do the race once and then never again. It's hugely important that people continue to enter the race every year and continue to support the charity. It helps to make a massive difference to so many people's lives and you never know when you might need help like that yourself.

Get out there and get running!

1 comment:

Lytham Hall said...

Well done everyone that took part and for such a good cause!
Im running the London marathon next year for Cancer so any tips would be appreciated!!!