Hundreds of women take part in emotional Barnstaple cancer fun run.
HUNDREDS of women joined forces to help fight cancer in Barnstaple this morning (Sunday).
More than 1,700 took part in the annual Race for Life, turning the 5km course at Seven Brethren into a sea of pink.
Many ran, jogged or walked in the colour, which has become synonymous with the Cancer Research UK fundraiser.
Most did so in memory of loved ones lost to cancer, or of those currently fighting their own battles with the disease.
Among those taking part was Mandy Jones, who lost her mum Pam to ovarian cancer earlier this year, as well as facing her own fight with breast cancer.
There were tears all round as Mandy, 32 from Bideford, took to the stage with daughter Kaicee to explain to fellow runners her own inspirational reasons for taking part.
Also running was retired languages teacher Julie Lewis from Barnstaple, who was taking part just days after a chemotherapy session to combat breast cancer.
Julie, 56, said: “I’ve done Race for Life a few times but because of what has happened to me in the last few months, the thought of raising money was more pertinent than ever.
“I finished faster than I thought I would having only had chemotherapy on Thursday.”
First across the finish line this year – at a time of just 15 minutes – was Amie Walker, 17 from Barnstaple.
Amie, who runs for the Braunton-based North Devon Athletics Club, said she took part in memory of her dad who died when she was only three years old.
Event manager Ruth Chamings said: “It was a fantastic day, full of emotion, courage, tears and laughter as 1742 women joined forces to show cancer who’s boss.
“Now I’m asking all the women who took part – and all the friends, family and colleagues who pledged to sponsor them – to transform their passion into progress by returning the money they’ve raised as soon as possible.
“Many people don’t realise that their entry fee only covers the cost of the event. It’s the sponsorship money that really makes a difference.
“So, whatever the amount, we’re asking everyone to make every effort to return their sponsorship money as soon as possible.”
Money raised can be paid online, over the phone by calling 0300 123 0770, or by cheque.
For information on returning sponsorship money, or to make a donation, visit www.raceforlife.org
For a full report of this year’s Race for Life, see Wednesday’s North Devon Gazette.
For hundreds of pictures of today’s event, click on the gallery link at the top right of this page.