A mother who is battling cancer admitted her brave fight seemed a little easier to bear after seeing hundreds of people take part in a fund-raising run, which was her idea.
Sharon Reid, from Alnwick, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, and is currently receiving treatment.
She had been aiming to take part in one of Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life events this year, but ongoing complications caused by the condition prevented her from doing so.
Determined to get involved, Sharon, who turns 47 today, took it upon herself to organise a run in her hometown to raise money for the cause. On Sunday, she got to see the fruits of her labour, with Alnwick’s very own event – and she was overwhelmed at what she had achieved.
Around 450 people, both male and female and of all ages, ran on the day, with many decked out in pink. Participants included cancer patients, as well as people running in honour of friends and family who have endured their own battles with the disease.
It is expected that more than £15,000 will be raised through sponsorship, while an extra £2,000 was collected by the raffle, tombola and donations.
And it is hoped that the event will be the first of many.
“Sunday was absolutely fabulous,” said Sharon, who started the race with Angela Morgan, who is also receiving cancer treatment. “To see the army of pink heading for us was overwhelming.
“We both blubbered a little, but it made the last year or so a bit easier to bear. It made it all worthwhile. We won our battle with cancer on Sunday.
“You don’t know what is around the corner, seize the day and appreciate everything you have.”
The event, which featured both a 5k and a 10k course, was hosted by Alnwick Town Football Club and the route incorporated St James’ Park and the junior pitches at Greensfield.
There was also a car boot sale, fairground rides and other activities. Thanks have been given to Complete Business Supplies, and Sportsworld, both Alnwick, as well as all the other businesses who contributed raffle and tombola prizes.
Some of the prizes are up for grabs on an online silent auction, via Alnwick’s Race for Life page on Facebook. It runs until 9pm on Saturday. Drinks were donated by Tesco stores in Amble and Berwick, as well as Alnwick’s Sainsbury’s and Morrisons outlets. Spare drinks and tombola prizes have been given to HospiceCare North Northumberland, of which Sharon and Angela are both patients, for the charity’s Druridge Bay 10k race this Sunday.
Representatives from the St Cloud State University, based at Alnwick Castle, volunteered on the day. The Mid Northumberland Explorer Scouts, among others, helped supply the first aid cover at the event.
Northumberland Sport has made a £250 donation.
Sharon, who is a mother-of-five and step-mum-of-two, said: “The reason we did this event is to raise awareness and money for research so that our children and grandchildren don’t have to experience cancer.
“I want to say thank you to everyone for their efforts in the build-up and on the day, including Lewis Denny and Angela Morgan.
“This was a learning curve so there were a few small mishaps along the way, but we did this is in a very short space of time. But I am thrilled at the response. Alnwick, give yourselves a giant slap on the back, you did fantastically well. Roll on next year.”
A string of positive comments have been left on the event’s Facebook page.
Susan Parkins wrote: “Thanks for a fantastic day yesterday. I’m so much looking forward to next year’s event. I thought the turn-out was brilliant and well done to all the people who organised the event. You all did an excellent job organising it so well done again.xx”
Laura Milligan said: “It was absolutely fantastic and I still can’t believe how many people turned up. Roll on next year x”.