Picture slideshow: Race for Life

Brothers Jeremy and Martin Holme who organised the Easter charity market in Petersfield

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Families united and ran, walked, jogged together as the Race for Life returned to Portsmouth.

Yesterday’s event on Southsea Common saw thousands run either 5k or 10k to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

Hundreds of runners and walkers alike were not deterred by the inclement weather on Sunday morning for the 2016 Race for Life held on Southsea Common  Picture by Malcolm Wells (160710-5602)

Hundreds of runners and walkers alike were not deterred by the inclement weather on Sunday morning for the 2016 Race for Life held on Southsea Common Picture by Malcolm Wells (160710-5602)

The emotional event saw individuals or groups run together, all united for the same cause to fight cancer.

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t prove promising for the runners as they were buffeted from the wind and of rain.

Among the thousands of runners battling the conditions to make a difference was Helen Strong, 22 from Purbrook, who ran in support of her uncle Michael Sawkins, who is fighting prostate cancer.

Michael was told by his doctor six years ago that he would live for another three years yet he is still going on strong, fighting the condition.

Helen said: ‘I’ve been doing the 5k for the past five years in support of him and to just make a difference.

‘Me and my boyfriend, James, 23 are getting married this August and we are hoping he’s going to be there.’

Helen previously ran
the race in 2010 after her mother, Caroline 55, was diagnosed with breast cancer, however, she managed to fight it off within the year.

All runners raced around the common wearing pink with a note attached to the back of the shirt that said why they were running.

From left, Rachel Horler, Julie Dean and Danielle Milasinovic  (160710-5483)

From left, Rachel Horler, Julie Dean and Danielle Milasinovic (160710-5483)

Thousands read the names of those that were fighting or had been taken from them by cancer.

Outfits on display included pink fairies, pirate outfits as the common became a sea of pink.

Another 5k runner was Lisa Verlander, 42, from Ryde.

She was running for everybody who had ever been affected by cancer, and took to the track in a full-size pink panther suit.

From left, Lynn Saunders running for her late father John, with her daughter Ella Saunders (160710-5498)

From left, Lynn Saunders running for her late father John, with her daughter Ella Saunders (160710-5498)

She said: ‘I thought that the outfit would be a great idea, as today is all about coming together for the same cause to raise vital funds to fight cancer and what a better way to do it than in a pink panther outfit!’

‘As much as it is for a very important cause, I thought “it’s also got to be fun and this will certainly make me stand out”.’

Taking part in the 10k were team-of-three Julie Dean, 41, from North End, Rachel Horler, 48 from Copnor and Danielle Milasinovic, 37, from Copnor who all work at Portsmouth City Council.

Rachel said: ‘It’s been such a good atmosphere.

‘You get a good feel for the day by looking at the messages on the back of people’s shirts and seeing who or why they are running.

‘It is so touching and really spurs you on.

Ellie O'Callaghan on her 17th birthday (160710-5621)

Ellie O'Callaghan on her 17th birthday (160710-5621)

Danielle added: ‘I’ve really enjoyed the day, We’ve all been looked forward to it and it’s been good fun.

‘It’s a wonderful event to be a part of.’

Slideshow pictures: Malcolm Wells and Ian Hargreaves

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