24-hour relay race in Portsmouth will fundraise for cancer charity

People taking part in last year's Relay for Life
People taking part in last year's Relay for Life

NHS organisations give advice on where to get treatment this winter

0
Have your say

TEAMS of runners will be pulling on their trainers as they look to take part in a 24-hour relay race.

Hundreds of people are expected to take part in the Portsmouth fundraiser Relay for Life for Cancer Research UK.

The whole idea behind this fundraiser is that cancer never sleeps so neither do the people doing the race.

Briony Biddle

The annual event, which is held across the country but originated in Portsmouth more than 20 years ago, sees teams race around the track at the Mountbatten Centre for 24 hours.

People taking part include cancer survivors but also friends and family of people affected by the illness. Last year the event raised £101,000.

One of the runners signed up for this year is Val O’Donnell, from Cosham.

The 72-year-old will be doing the race with 16 family members and this is the fourth time they have done it.

Val, who has survived cancer twice, said: ‘We take part because we like helping others and raising cash for this amazing charity.

‘I had bladder cancer in 2002 and breast cancer two years ago so it is a cause close to my heart.

‘It is a fun day for families and a nice way to raise money.’

Last year, the family raised £1,800 and Val is hoping to build on that.

She added: ‘I just want to raise as much as possible. When I see young people at Macmillan or mums in the oncology department it makes me want to help them.’

Relay for Life starts at midday on July 15 and ends at midday on July 16. As part of the challenge at least one team member must be on the track for the full 24 hours, either running or walking.

To help keep participants awake there will be live music, tug-of-war, sports activities and games.

There will be a Cancer Research UK stand giving out information on the charity.

One of the organisers, Briony Biddle, said: ‘The whole idea behind this fundraiser is that cancer never sleeps so neither do the people doing the race.

‘It can be quite an emotional weekend because the runners all have a connection to cancer whether someone they know passed away, is going through it or survived it.

‘We expect around 400 people to take part and we hope to beat last year’s total.

‘In Portsmouth it raised £101,000 which is amazing. Everyone puts in so much effort and it is great to see that paying off.’

June 4 is National Cancer Survivors Day and people who have survived the illness will be doing a fundraiser in Whiteley. They will be attending a tea party to celebrate them beating cancer.