Hundreds of women turn out for emotional cancer fund-rasier.

First across the finish line was Vic Rolfe from Bideford. To order this photo and see others click on the Photo Sales tab under North Devon Life.First across the finish line was Vic Rolfe from Bideford. To order this photo and see others click on the Photo Sales tab under North Devon Life.

HUNDREDS of women gave cancer an emotional run for its money in Barnstaple yesterday morning (Sunday).

An estimated 1,400 defied the heat to run, jog and walk their way around a 5km route for this year's Cancer Research UK Race for Life.

With temperatures pushing into the late 20s, mums, daughters, grannies, sisters, friends and workmates - mostly dressed from head-to-toe in pink - turned out to support the 12th annual event.

Many had poignant reasons for doing so and had handwritten messages pinned on their backs in support of those battling cancer, or in memory of loved ones they'd lost to the disease.

Race for Life gives cancer a run for its money in Barnstaple. To order this photo and see others click on the Photo Sales tab under North Devon Life.Race for Life gives cancer a run for its money in Barnstaple. To order this photo and see others click on the Photo Sales tab under North Devon Life.

The heat marked a stark contrast to last year's event, where heavy rain waterlogged part of the route and forced organisers to make a last minute switch.

First across the finish line at the Tarka Tennis Centre was Vic Rolfe from Bideford, who surprised herself with a time of 20 minutes 19 seconds in her first running event for 12 years.

"I was really surprised as I was looking for a time of around 24 minutes," she told the Gazette.

"I've ran Race for Life twice before and this is my best finish by far. And it's definitely the fastest I've ran 5km in the last 12 years.

Race for Life gives cancer a run for its money in Barnstaple. To order this photo and see others click on the Photo Sales tab under North Devon Life.Race for Life gives cancer a run for its money in Barnstaple. To order this photo and see others click on the Photo Sales tab under North Devon Life.

"I used to run for Bideford Blues but was in 'running retirement', although I did do a couple of practice runs last week."

Rather than pause for breath after crossing the finish line, Vic, who works as fitness instructor at the Better Bodies Gym in Bideford, ran back around the course to encourage some of her clients at the gym.

For hundreds of pictures from Sunday's Race for Life, click on the gallery links on the top right of this page.

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Participants were given the chance to limber up before the race to a routine by dance exercise instructor Anne Wilson from Dance Fit.

Anne is offering Gazette readers a free dance fit class if they bring their medals along with them. To find a class near you, visit www.dancefitdevon.co.uk or call on 07791 568340.