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Norfolk women Race for Life

PUBLISHED: 08:00 03 May 2010 | UPDATED: 10:10 02 July 2010

Race for Life at Norfolk Showground

Race for Life at Norfolk Showground

David Bale

Norfolk Showground was turned into a sea of pink as thousands of gutsy women and girls donned running suits to take part in Norwich's Race for Life

Norfolk Showground was turned into a sea of pink as thousands of gutsy women and girls donned running suits to take part in Norwich's Race for Life.

Cancer Research UK's Race for Life 2010 is the UK's largest women-only fundraising event series and aims to raise money to fight the disease through research.

The 13th Race for Life event in Norwich was the most profitable yet, with about £50,000 more being raised than last year.

And while yesterday's weather left a lot to be desired, it did not dampen the spirits or dull the wonderful atmosphere created by the record numbers who came together on the weekend.

Gemma Turpin, Norfolk event manager for Race for Life, said: “It was a fantastic event. We had a mixture of sunshine and pouring rain, but the atmosphere was electric, and everyone had an amazing two days.

“Everyone turned up despite the weather on Sunday, and the amount raised is the best in the 13 years we have been holding the event in Norwich.”

Four races were held over the weekend including three 5k runs and, for the first time in Norwich, a 10k event.

Among those taking part in the 5k race was Carla Jones, 39, from Norwich's Golden Triangle.

It was exactly a year ago yesterday that her father Billy Calvert died of cancer, aged 69.

The mother of two said: “I wanted to do it for my father.

“This was the first time I had run the Race for Life and I really enjoyed it. Maybe next year I will be able to do the 10k run?”

She was running alongside Katie Treutler, 42, and her daughter Emily Chambers, 8, both also from the Golden Triangle.

Ms Treutler, a nurse, said her daughter was too young to do the race last year, but had nagged her to take part this time.

“I'm doing it for four friends, three of them nurses, who have cancer,” she said.

Sisters Sarah Mullender, 22, and Emily Mullender, 18, both from Drayton, had two special reasons to take part in the 5k race yesterday.

The elder said: “Our grandmother, Patricia Mullender has cancer, and our mother, Carrie Mullender was only in her 30s when she died of breast cancer.

“We ran together and although it was freezing, there was a great atmosphere. We will do it again next year.”

Carey Briggs, 37, from Weston Longville, near Norwich, said her father Robert Eggleton, 73, originally from Norwich but now living in Guernsey, had suffered from multiple myeloma for six years.

She said: “I'm doing it in support of my father for all the courage he has shown in the last six years.”

Jo Geere, 43, who lives near the UEA in Norwich, was running in the race for the first time in support of her mother, Margaret Milsom, who has had cancer and now lives in Australia.

Sam Jelliff, 40, from Colney, near Norwich, said she was taking part because both her grandparents had died of cancer.

Hundreds of other women said that while they too knew friends and family with cancer, they were also taking part to keep in shape.

Alex Cole, 39, from College Road, Norwich, said it was a good opportunity to keep fit and stay healthy.

Meanwhile, mother and daughter Kim Gaffer, 51, from Honey Close, Norwich, and Faye Gaffer, 22, from Gertrude Road, Norwich, were taking part for separate reasons.

Mrs Gaffer senior said: “My friend Debbie died aged just 43 from cervical cancer four years go.”

And her daughter added: “It is to raise money for people who have suffered and to keep fit as well.”

Sarah Horrocks, 33, from Epsom, Surrey, carried out the run whilst she was staying with her aunt and uncle in Norwich.

She said: “I wanted to do it at a different venue. It's a reason to keep fit and raise money.”

Michelle Jones, 42, from Hall Road, Norwich, echoed many when she said that she had lost family members and close friends from cancer.

“It's a chance to raise money for a good cause,” she said.

One of the youngest involved was six-year-old Ellie Wilson, whose father Sgt Peter Wilson is based at Bethel Street police station in Norwich.

She ran in memory of her aunt Katy who died from cancer aged 38 earlier this month, after losing her four-year fight against breast cancer.

Sgt Wilson said: “It has been a family tradition since Katy's diagnosis that all the ladies in the family ran the Race for Life, including Ellie.

“Katy used to travel from Lancashire with friends and her daughter and last year completed the race although very ill.

“This year my wife and daughter completed the race in Katy's memory, although the rest of the family felt it was too soon to attend.

“Katy's death has devastated us as a family, and although Cancer Research UK could not help Katy beat it, they did not leave any stone unturned. They supported her and her family and I am sure they made a terrible few years that little bit easier.”

About 12,000 women took part in the event, which was about the same as last year, but the money raised rose from £761,135 to about £809,000.

For more information visit www.raceforlife.org.

Are you taking part in a charity event in Norwich? Ring reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

See Eveningnews24 for slideshow.

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