EVERY year since 1996, grandmother-of-seven Catherine Robinson has taken her place on the Race For Life starting line.
The 52-year-old from Portsmouth has been taking part in the fundraiser for Cancer Research for the last 23 years in memory of her aunt Chris who died from breast cancer.
Catherine said: ‘Every year I do Race for Life I am inspired by the people and atmosphere around me. I loved my aunt Chris immensely and she is always in my heart.’
The mum-of-four clocked up her fastest time of 38 minutes on the 5k course in Southsea last year thanks to six-year-old grandson Mikey
‘Mikey took part on his scooter and when he was told it was a race and not to stop until we crossed the finish line - that is exactly what he did’, Catherine explained.
‘I think we were both pinker than our T-shirts by the time we finished!’
She has also raised money for life-saving research by doing a parachute jump, abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower and rowing a marathon.
Catherine added: ‘All of it was nothing compared to what my beloved aunty endured.’
As well as honouring her aunt, Catherine, who now lives in Locks Heath, has signed up to Race for Life every year in support of Chris’s daughter, Josie, who is a breast cancer survivor, and a former colleague from The Parade Community Pre-School in Hilsea which Catherine opened in 2000.
She said: ‘ A very dear friend, a former member of staff at the pre-school, is also battling this dreadful disease, so she is very much in my heart too.’
This year’s event is expected to be a big family affair with Catherine’s daughter from East Sussex and her children and grandchildren in the city getting involved in the run on Sunday.
She added: ‘My daughter Rachel and I are the first to enter but we usually end up with the other daughters and grandchildren in tow.
‘One year I carried my youngest granddaughter, Florence, around the course but this year I am hoping Mikey will not have the scooter!’