Running the Race for Life to raise awareness and beat cancer
In October 2017 my close friend and work partner was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer. It came totally out of the blue and shattered not just her world but the worlds of her all her family and friends who love her so much. These past 9 months I have witnessed her undergo a gruelling treatment plan; chemo, surgery and now radiotherapy. I have the most enormous admiration and respect for how she has coped and battled this vile disease, as do many, many others and I have every faith that my friend will make a full recovery.
Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, one person is diagnosed every 10 minutes. 1 in 8 women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Cancer Research UK are world leaders in finding new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. They receive no Government funding for their work, therefore it’s as important as ever for us all to continue to raise funds in order to raise awareness and beat cancer once and for all.
In the face of my friend’s illness, it seemed apt that this summer I should get my running shoes on and gather together a band of women who all felt as strongly as I do in order to help do our bit to help beat cancer.
Race for Life is run by Cancer Research UK, who put on a series of women-only events across the UK raising money for research into all 200 types of cancer. More than 8 million women have taken part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life over the past 20 years, sponsored by Tesco and raising an extraordinary £547 million to fund the charity’s life-saving work.
There are plenty of races taking place all over the UK and also a fair amount just in London. We decided to run the 5K on Hampstead Heath… of course, we would have to pick the hilliest route in London on the hottest day of the year!
I have to admit I’m no a long distance runner, but I do keep fit and I was a sprinter in my youth. A little bit of training was definitely in order though. I left it rather last minute, but with the help of a few inspirational tunes on my headphones, including of course “Born to Run” I ran around my local park and hit the treadmill in the gym.
Before I knew it our race day was upon us, however I really wasn’t prepared to run 5k up and down hills in 30 degrees! Dressed in pink as is customary, my friends and I made our way to the Heath on Saturday morning, the sun was shining and there was a wonderful sense of camaraderie amongst the woman as we all came together driven by a common goal. After an inspirational talk from a cancer survivor and a group warm up, we were on our way!
I made it in 32 minutes, which is no record by any means, but considering the heat and the terrain I was rather pleased just to have made it round, as were all of my fine team.
We managed to raise a respectable sum, and the event that day had already raised £85K when we arrived, which is something to be proud of.
Hot, sweaty and weary we celebrated with a well deserved cold beer in the pub, then off home to join the rest of the world watching the football with a celebratory England win against Sweden.
A thoroughly good end to a very good day!
Check the website for more about the Race for Life and perhaps consider taking part yourself!