Portsmouth Race for Life: More than 6,000 runners brave bad weather to conquer 10km charity race

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MORE than 6,000 runners turned Southsea Common into a ‘sea of pink’ this weekend as they ran in memory of loved ones who have suffered from cancer. 

On Saturday, more than 3,000 people completed the Pretty Muddy assault course which was followed on Sunday by the Race for Life. In total, the events have raised £345,000 for Cancer Research UK.

Finishers at the Race for Life, in Southsea, on Sunday, July 7. Picture: Keith Woodland (070719-288)

Finishers at the Race for Life, in Southsea, on Sunday, July 7. Picture: Keith Woodland (070719-288)

One of Saturdays runners was seven-year-old Portsmouth lad Finley Hughes, whose dad is suffering from bowel cancer. 

The youngster, who raised an incredible £4,300, said: ‘I’m running to raise money to get better medicine so my dad can get better.’

Mum, Josie Hughes, added: ‘My husband has been battling bowel cancer for four years – it has come back three times.’

The Pretty Muddy morning event saw families tackle a range of obstacles including a space hopper jump, tunnel challenge and camouflage crawl, with participants hurtling down an inflatable slide into a pool of mud to finish.

Hayley Milam and son, Joshua Milam, eight, were running in memory of Hayley’s mother, Angela Giles, who lost her battle with cancer in 2010.

Hayley said: ‘Today is about raising money for cancer research to hopefully ensure people don’t have to go through what we went through.’

The afternoon saw eight adult races with men allowed to take part for the first time.

Sandra Wall has been running in the event since 2011.

‘I started taking part after my dad died. Unfortunately the disease also took my mother last year. Hopefully, with more research taking place, cancer will no longer be a death sentence,’ she said. 

Partner, Mike Adams, added: ‘I normally come along to support Sandra and so this year it’s great to be able to take part.’

Sunday saw a further 3,500 runners take part in the five and ten kilometre races. Despite the wet conditions runners donned a wide range of colourful costumes with a brass band and hula hoop team also taking part.

Despite being only 11, Molly Sewell was the second female across the finishing line and fourth overall.

Molly, who lost her uncle to cancer, said: ‘Hopefully the money raised will help more people to beat the disease.’ 

Events manager, Georgina Horne, commented: ‘This is always such an emotional event but this has been an amazing weekend with participants creating a sea of pink.’