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Everyone has a reason to race for life
SOME ran, others jogged or walked and some even limped around the Marlborough Race For Life course on sticks.
About 1200 females from toddlers to OAP's completed the five kilometres course set out on Marlborough College playing fields on Sunday.
It is hoped the contestants will have raised almost £100,000 for Cancer Research UK.
It was the third year the Race For Life had been held at Marlborough and each year more and more take part in this women-only event.
People travelled from Hampshire, Somerset, Dorset and even Cornwall to take part and raise funds for cancer research having lost loved ones or to celebrate relatives or friends winning their fight with cancer.
The event saw a mixture of emotions, sadness and even some tears for those whose relatives died from cancer, some within the last few weeks even.
Then there were smiles of happiness from contestants whose friends or relations had won through in their battles with cancer.
Many of those taking part had poignant messages pinned on their backs to explain why they were running.
A few words said it all:
- My wonderful Pops
- Great Gran
- My Big Sister
- Mandy and all the others
- My Dad fighting and Lauren 7
- The friends and families of cancer sufferers
- The people who can't
- Someone who died in my family
- My friend Terry
- My Mum
- Everyone who has cancer
Behind most participants there was a story either of sadness or gladness over someone's battle with cancer, some won, some lost.
Wendy Lappin 56, from Axford near Marlborough was running in celebration of defeating cancer not once but twice.
Mrs Lappin ran with her daughter Louise, 26, who ran with the message "My Mum, the bravest lady I know" on her back.
Mrs Lappin was just 28 when she had her first cancer, a tumour on the brain and underwent surgery and radio therapy at Oxford.
Last September she was diagnosed with the stomach cancer non Hodgkin's lymphoma and has undergone courses of chemo therapy losing her hair again.
With her hair just beginning to grow back Mrs Lappin took part in the Race For Life to say a big thank you to the consultants who have treated her on both occasions.
Janet Greenfield travelled up from Liskeard in Cornwall to run in memory of her daughter Victoria Jobe who died in 1984 from leukaemia.
Mrs Greenfield also lost her first husband to cancer.
She took part with Vicky Ellis, eight, from Marlborough whose mother Claire was Victoria Jobe's school friend and named her daughter after her.
A group of young equestrians from Pewsey Vale Riding centre went along in their jodhpurs and riding boots and hobby horses to show their support for their friend Hannah from Calne who is battling against cancer.
Three sisters took part, Joan Baggus from Upavon, Janet Stares from Overton and Josie lay from Ilminster in Somerset, together with Mrs Lay's daughter Tiffany, and a friend Helen Wallace from Croydon.
Mrs Baggus has been treated for bowel cancer and has now been told she has two small growths on her liver that need treatment.
Four Marlborough women and their daughters, Sarah Keppel with Grace (ten) and Olivia (eight), Andrea Mutch with Gabby (seven), Pamela Down with Olivia (seven) and Angela Nixon with Jessica (six) took part "for friends and relatives" who had suffered cancer.
Molly Reid, 14, from Pewsey who is at St John's School in Marlborough ran in memory of her dad Ken who died from cancer 11 years ago.
Karen Greenidge from Devizes and her daughter Steph, 15, were running in thanks for successful treatment of Mrs Greenidge's father who survived cancer two years ago.
Teenagers Sara Newman and Hanna Carter, St John's students from Marlborough, made it a three-legged race with their legs tied together at the ankle.
The two year 8 students were running in memory of Sara's father Jim Barnett who died three months ago and also a close friend who lost their fight with cancer just two weeks before the Race For Life.
Organiser Natasha Russell said she was delighted with Sunday's turn out.
"We always get fantastic support in Marlborough," said Ms Russell.
She thanked the Master of Marlborough College, Nicholas Sampson, for hosting the event and its main sponsors Tesco, Reebok and Nivea.
Ms Russell implored all of those who took part to hand in their sponsorship money as soon as possible.
Everyone who took part was presented with a 2008 Race For Life Medal and a goody bag with products from the sponsors.
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