Thousands of runners join Portsmouth's Pretty Muddy run for Cancer Research UK

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THOUSANDS of people braved the mud in a quest to beat cancer – and remember loved ones who have died from the illness. 

More than 3,000 people joined the Pretty Muddy fundraiser on Southsea Common today, raising an estimated £345,000 for Cancer Research UK.

(L-R) Annie Emery, 10, Penny Lewis, 10, Finley Hughes, 7 and Poppy Emery, 8, were running to support Finley's dad who is suffering from bowel cancer.

(L-R) Annie Emery, 10, Penny Lewis, 10, Finley Hughes, 7 and Poppy Emery, 8, were running to support Finley's dad who is suffering from bowel cancer.

Among them was seven-year-old Portsmouth lad Finley Hughes, whose dad is suffering from bowel cancer. 

The youngster, who has 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. As well as raising money we also want to raise the profile of the disease.’

Morning races saw parents and children 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.

Mike Adams and Sandra Wall were running in memory of Sandra' parents who both died as a result of cancer.

Mike Adams and Sandra Wall were running in memory of Sandra' parents who both died as a result of cancer.

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.’

Also running was Karly Quick and her daughter, Tillie Morton, aged nine.

Tillie said: ‘I’m running in memory of my brother, Tommy Denyer, who died last year at the age of 20. So far I have raised £400.’

Karly Quick and daughter, Tillie Morton, 9, were running in memory of Tillie's brother, Tommy Denyer.

Karly Quick and daughter, Tillie Morton, 9, were running in memory of Tillie's brother, Tommy Denyer.

Following the children’s event were eight waves of adult races with men allowed to take part for the first time.

Sandra Wall has taken part in the event every year 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 and more people will be able to overcome it,’ 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.’

Jack Wills, 11, Freddie Soper, 5, and Lewis Wills, 9.

Jack Wills, 11, Freddie Soper, 5, and Lewis Wills, 9.

The race was organised by events manager, Georgina Horne.

Georgina said: ‘This is always such an emotional event but this has been an amazing day with participants creating a sea of pink.’