Pink and proud on an ‘emotional day’

Rotherham Race for life
Rotherham Race for life
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Tears of pride were mixed with tears of sadness when a pink army of women, girls and children descended on Rotherham for Race for Life.

The event at Herringthorpe attracted hundreds of fundraisers and crowds of spectators who lined the route to cheer on the runners.

Dressed in pink T-shirts, the runners also donned tutus, cowboy hats, feather boas and angel wings for the race.

Many had cards pinned to their backs naming loved ones battling cancer, those who lost their fight against the disease and celebrating those who have beaten it.

Groups of friends and families moved by the occasion hugged and supported each other as they made their way to the start line.

Among those taking part were Rotherham midwives Alexa Birks, aged 31, and Joanne Lumb, 25, and colleague Jean Medlock, 65.

Jean, who works at Rotherham Hospital’s maternity unit, said: “One of our friends, a midwife, has been diagnosed with bowel cancer and has had her chemo so we are doing this for her.

“We also lost the breast feeding coordinator at Rotherham Hospital to breast cancer, so it is a cause close to our hearts.”

Claire Billups, 38, and Lyndsay Foster, 30, ran the race as part of the 10-strong Lynne’s Lasses group, in memory of their aunt Lynne Harrison who died of cancer five weeks ago at the age of 57.

Lyndsay said: “I have done it before there’s always a great atmosphere.”

Diane Morphet, 43, dressed head to toe in pink and hobbled to the race on crutches to support the team she had been due to take part in the race with.

“I had been training for six months and was really looking forward to taking part when I ruptured my Achilles while I was walking the dog – I cried when they told me I wouldn’t be able to take part, but I wanted to come along to support everyone.”

Alex Badger, 17, ran the race in a onesie with her friends Kate and Pat Jarvis, aged 24 and 52.

The teenager lost her grandmother Christine Southwell to cancer last week.

“I told her I was doing Race for Life for her when she was alive, so when she died it made me even more determined to do it,” she said.

Hannah Mars, 65, shaved her hair to raise money for Cancer Research and died her head pink for the race.

She took part in the event with her daughter Christine Mars, 33, in memory of their friend Linda Morawski who died from cancer a month ago.

Christine said: “It’s a very emotional day for a lot of people, us included, but it is wonderful to see everyone joining together and united to raise money for charity.”