RACE FOR LIFE: Towneley Park awash with colour for annual Cancer Research run

RACE FOR LIFE: Towneley Park awash with colour for annual Cancer Research run

RACE FOR LIFE: Towneley Park awash with colour for annual Cancer Research run

Nicola Ross, two, from Todmorden, gives runner mum Karen Ross a flower

mother and son Hannah Wilkinson and Patrick Dunleavy, three, from Rawtenstall, cross the finishing line

First published in News This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Education reporter

SURVIVORS, supporters and loved ones took on cancer as they turned Towneley Park into a sea of pink.

The Burnley Race for Life event saw the peaceful surroundings of the stately hall invaded by an army of Cancer Research UK fundraisers.

As the race prepared to get under way hundreds of women took part in the full-volume DJ’d warm-up.

Crowds of pink-clad runners followed aerobic dance moves to songs including Avicii’s Hey Brother and Pharell Williams’ Happy.

Women from across Lancashire were undaunted by the pouring rain and grey skies. Pink T-shirts, wigs and sunglasses were the order of the day, with lots of women even dying their hair pink.

Fun was part of the reason for the turnout, but many people taking part were doing so in memory of those who had been lost to cancer.

Samina MacBean, 19, from Baxenden, pinned a picture of her as a baby with her dad, Glenn MacBean, pinned to the back of her shirt. Glenn, a father of three, died earlier this year, aged 49, only 10 weeks after his second diagnosis of bowel cancer. He had beaten the condition five years before. Samina said: “I love this picture of me and my dad and I really wanted to wear it.”

This Is Lancashire:

Her mum Reehaina MacBean, 42, who waited for her at the finishing line, said: “He was clear for five years and then when he got it again it was so quick, we were just left in shock.

“He was as funny as they come and he loved motocross racing and got the kids involved in it too.”

First across the finishing line was one of the junior runners, Ella Dorrington, from Burnley, who had taken part with mum Margaret in memory of her grandmother Juliet Dorrington.

Dad Alan said: “She wanted to do it with her mum, but I think she’s left her a bit behind. I knew she was fast, but not that fast. I’m really proud of her.”

The youngest participant was three-year-old Patrick Dunleavy who had joined the last leg to be with mum Hannah Wilkinson, from Rawtenstall. She said: “My mum, Ruth Wilkinson, died when I was 15 and she was 47, so I am doing this for her. Patrick saw me coming round and wanted to join in too!”

Elizabeth Heseltine, 25, from Nelson said: “My grandmother, Joan Sunderland, from Colne, was diagnosed with uterine cancer recently but she has got the all-clear. This is for her.”

Starting and finishing in front of the Sports Pavilion, the course took runners over mixed terrain including woodland paths, grass and hilly sections plus a stunning view of Towneley Hall on the final leg.

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