Race for Life is the UK’s largest women-only fundraising event. In 2007, 665,000 of us walked, jogged or ran 5k and raised £40 million for the vital work of Cancer Research UK – the world’s leading independent organisation dedicated to cancer research.
The sun beat down on us relentlessly today. 30 degrees, with no shade and no breeze (hazard of venturing inland!). Even by the end of the gentle aerobic warm-up I had a thumping headache and it was clear that (a) I should have brought a hat, (b) my nocturnal so-called training had not really prepared me for this, and (c) my bottle of water was far too small!
But the tremendous atmosphere banished any qualms about striding out in the heat. I had planned to part-run, part-walk the course, but as it turned out I ran for longer than I'd intended. As last year, I found myself carried along by the wonderful sisterly esprit de corps; the overwhelming sense of purpose displayed by all the participants - from ages 5 to 75, and of every size, shape and fitness; the deeply moving two minutes' silence before the race; reading the names and photos on the other runners' backs; and thinking about those known to me who have won, and those who have lost, the battle against cancer - and most of all, those who are fighting right now.
Here are some pics.
Anyway, I got round in one piece, received a medal to prove it, wolfed down a very welcome ice-cream, then came home for a soak in a refreshing lukewarm bath. Put my feet up with a large pot of tea and a good book . . . and woke up several hours later!