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Band of runners remember their much-missed loved ones

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Pink was the colour as fund-raisers turned out for Alnwick’s Race For Life on Sunday, with some inspirational and touching success stories on the day.

The event, with a 5k and a 10k course, was in aid of Cancer Research UK and attracted an army of runners who have been affected by the disease in one way or another.

It was staged at Shilbottle’s Community Hall and attracted 50 entrants.

There was a standing ovation for one challenger, Claire Stevens, from Morpeth, as she crossed the finish-line.

Claire was diagnosed with cancer in the same week 
as last year’s inaugural race in May.

She completed the 2013 event and this year, after finishing her treatment, she tackled the 10k course.

Meanwhile, Julie Baxter, from Amble, shed seven stone before the race, after vowing to take part in the event in memory of her sister Dawn, who lost her cancer battle 
in 2008.

Julie’s granddaughter Emilia, who was actually born on the day Dawn died, also completed the race.

Bev and Ava Stewart, from Amble, took part in memory of loved one Kenneth Thornton who passed away just 
after last year’s race.

Event organiser Sharon Reid, from Alnwick, who has endured her own fight with the disease, was pleased with how the 2014 race went and admitted there were some emotional moments.

She said: “It was great. The star of the day has to be Claire Stevens. She finished to huge applause and received a standing ovation. It made for a very emotional end to the race. There were lumps in throats and tears in eyes.

“The only thing that marred my day was my friend Angela Matthewson was missing for the event, as she is currently having cancer treatment.

“But at the end of the day, that is what the Race For Life is all about; trying to ensure that her girls, my granddaughters and all of the next generations do not have to deal with this nasty disease as we have done.”

Sharon’s 65-year-old mother came up from Wales to take part in the event and raised around £350 for the cause. The total amount of money collected is not yet known, although Sharon believes it won’t be as much as last year as the number of entrants was down on 2013.

But she said: “Raising money was not the only objective. It is also about remembering lost loved ones and supporting those of us still being treated.”

Reflecting on this year’s event, she added: “We could have done with more spectators and customers for the stalls, but all in all it was a great group effort.

“The Shilbottle committee helped us a lot and donated to the cause and a big thank-you to everyone who supported the event in any way, including local businesses who donated prizes for the raffle and offered us drinks for the event.”

For more information and for a list of raffle prizes not yet collected, join the RFL Alnwick 2014 Facebook group.

 

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