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More than £123,000 raised at Himley Park Race For Life - in pictures

By Luke Bartlett | Dudley entertainment | Published:

There was a sea of pink as more than 1,700 people gathered to race in aid of a cancer charity.

It was revealed more than £123,000 had been raised for Cancer Research UK as crowds flocked to Himley Park in Dudley to take part in the Race For Life event.

Many of those tackling the course were out to remember lost loved ones – including Diane Greaves, 54, from Stafford, who was taking part in memory of her late mother Cilla Ingham who died in 2003 aged 67 from pancreatic cancer.

Diane said: "said: "Fifteen years ago today my mom passed away, she had pancreatic cancer, we only found it in the April of the same year.

"Fifteen years was a good year to mark it, my sister and my brother are going to be here, my daughters are here and my nieces, my sister-in-law, we just want to give something back, we want to fight and we want to kick cancer's butt.

"It is the impact this has on the families, it is not just about what happens to the person.

"It is crazy and it is fantastic. We do this today, Pretty Muddy next week and we volunteer. We have called this Granny's Gang and everyone has done an individual bit to raise some money.

"Fifteen years ago there wasn't the same drugs around as there are today, more people are actually living and fighting cancer today and lets hope in another fifteen years they can even more. That is what it is about.

"I think we can do more, the more people that are affected by this the more people join in but I think you don't need to be affected by this, you should join in whether they have been affected by cancer or not, I think everybody should fight this.

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"The more people give the quicker we will find a cure."

Also taking part were Shirley Graham, 63, from West Bromwich, and daughter Siobhan Benton, 23, who were running in memory of son and brother Adam who died in 2010 following a battle with esophageal cancer eight years ago.

Shirley said: "My son Adam died of esophageal cancer in 2010 at the age of 20.

"He was having treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and he died three months before his 21st birthday.

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"He was a villa fan through and through, a very happy lad. He was a painter and decorator and he had just started out, he was just learning to drive too.

"We miss him dearly, he was very poorly."

There was an overspill of joy from England's triumph over Sweden on Saturday too as World Cup fever continued to grip the region.

Heart FM's Ed James roused the crowd during their warm up with The Lightning Seeds classic Three Lions before they made their way to the starting line.

Event manager Kirsten Greaves labelled the Dudley fundraisers 'incredible' and said the funds were 'vital for research'.

She said: "It is absolutely amazing. The people of Dudley are just incredible, they do so much fundraising, they go that extra mile and its vital for research.

"There is something really special about Race For Life. When you stand and you see everyone's back signs and the messages they have put on those signs to their loved ones – not one person here hasn't been touched by cancer.

"They have lost loved ones, family, friends, colleagues and it is the most special, overwhelming feeling and you cannot help but be touched when you stand there and look out and see all those signs and messages.

"Race For Life is is just incredible, it creates and atmosphere like no other. Race For Life has now been running for 25 years and in that time we have raised more than £800 million for life saving research.

"Last year in the Midlands we spent £11 million on research and we simply could not do that without the support of the locals in this area that come and take on Race For Life."

Luke Bartlett

By Luke Bartlett
Trainee Reporter - @lbartlett_star

Trainee Express & Star reporter covering Dudley and Sandwell. Get in touch on 01902 319445 or via luke.bartlett@expressandstar.co.uk.

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