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Friday, 01 August 2014

Cartmel Race for Life

CARTMEL Racecourse was transformed into a sea of pink shirts as hundreds of women joined the fight against cancer on Sunday.

People of all ages took part in the Race for Life to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

It was the first time the event, which takes place all over the UK, has come to Cartmel and organisers said it was a big success.

In total, 550 people ran and walked the 5km route around Cartmel Racecourse, raising £69,000 in the process.

The race was started by Maggie Harrison, a bowel cancer survivor from Barrow who recently carried the Olympic Torch through Grasmere.

She said: “Without the money people like this have raised, I would not be alive today.”

She became an ambassador for Cancer Research UK after volunteering at its Dalton Road shop in Barrow.

Before the race started she told the crowd: “Life is for living, so let’s all make the most of it.”

Among those walking the course was a group of women taking part in honour of Sarah McMahon, who is battling stage 3B cervical cancer.

The group all wore T-shirts with the 24-year-old’s photo on the front. One of their members, Paula Timms, took part despite carrying an injury.

She said: “I will be walking because I have got a slipped disc. This is my first Race for Life and I am doing it in honour of Sarah because she is one of my best mates. She had her last treatment this week and now it is a wait to see if it has worked. When she gets better, we will all have a big party.”

After the race, Ms McMahon’s aunt, Sharon Lawson, said: “I’m out of breath but it was worth it.

“I thought I would not make it, but it feels brilliant to have done it.”

Yvonne Rowlinson, originally from Barrow, took part despite only finishing treatment for cancer four-and-a-half months ago.

She said: “It was much harder than I thought it would be – there is a big hill at the beginning. It felt very good to cross the finish line, but it felt like more than three miles.”

Charity worker Tina Sudlow was the first person to cross the finish line.

She said: “It was amazing – I have never come first in a race in my life. It was tough going because the terrain was muddy and uneven.”

She said she was inspired to take part in the race by her involvement with the Child Bereavement Charity and Barnardo’s. She said: “I work with bereaved children so I see the devastation that cancer can cause. Cancer is something that touches so many people’s lives.”

Sue Ireland, from Kendal, said: “I have lost a few very close people to cancer. You want to take it off them but you can’t, so the next best thing you can do is to try to stop more people getting it. It feels fantastic to have taken part.”

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron was cheering on the sidelines with his two sons as his wife Rosie and 10-year-old daughter Gracie took part in the race.

He said: “I am really impressed with how they did and I am very proud of them both.

“It was Gracie’s idea to take part for her old headteacher who is fighting cancer, but Rosie and I both lost our mums to it too.

“It is a brilliant turnout and everybody who took part should be proud of themselves. It is a very positive way of doing something about something very negative.”

Also among the friends and family that turned out in support of the runners was Keith Warner, whose three girls were taking part.

He said: “This is their second time doing the Race for Life – I am very proud of them.

“Their best friend’s dad died of cancer a year or so ago, so they run for him.”

Since it began in 1994, six million participants have taken part in the Race for Life and raised £457m.

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