For many people taking part in the Race for Life is one of the most emotional days of the year.
The event is far more than just an occasion for fundraising – although it is massively successful at fulfilling that requirement!
Race for Life is a time to remember, to honour and to feel close to family members or friends who have been taken from us by the wicked disease of cancer.
Yes, money is raised annually into the millions of pounds, but it goes much deeper than that.
By taking part in such a community-inspired event, people are able to feel that they are not alone.
The message which comes back year after year is that everyone, at some point or another, knows someone who has been affected by cancer.
Seeing the thousands of women at Meadowhall this weekend, who were running for a friend, a family member, or even themselves, shows the scale of the challenge locally.
It is estimated 2,300 people took on the five kilometre course around the outside of Meadowhall Shopping Centre, raising more than £200,000 for Cancer Research UK.
Many donned bright pink clothing to take part in the race, with others opting to wear fancy dress.
Cleaners carrying dusters, women dressed as Where’s Wally and even a marching band all took part in the event, along with a couple of dogs and several youngsters being pushed along the route in prams.
The fancy dress and fun atmosphere give the event a sense of celebration – and in one way it is. People are coming together to celebrate the lives of those they have lost, but to also categorically say ‘we’re going to do whatever we can so that future generations will have an even better chance of survival’.
One woman in our report tells of how she can no longer read the messages of support that runners write on their backs, as they are too upsetting.
That is a sentiment that is only too believable, with old emotions being stirred by remembering the bravery of those who have passed away due to cancer.
As ever our area has out-done itself with its fundraising efforts. We never cease to be amazed by the generosity of people from our region.
Race for Life is a well-known event, but hundreds of other activities also get your support every year.
Every penny does help and for that we should all be thankful.