Organisers said more than 1,500 runners took part in the Race for Life Pretty Muddy 5k event at Sandwell Valley Country Park on Saturday, raising vital funds for Cancer Research UK.
Some families and friends touched by the effects of cancer donned fancy dress to take part in the latest in a series of informal race events held round the region.
Among them were members of a family with several generations affected by a genetic form of stomach cancer who took part to raise awareness of the importance of research and to help save lives by raising sponsorship cash. They signed up for Pretty Muddy after experiencing first-hand the good work of researchers who identified a faulty cancer gene which resulted in further members of the family being tested for it.
The family team – named ‘Little Hooligans Get Dirty for Cancer’ was led by Amara Ismail, 32, manager of the Little Hooligans soft play centre, in Lower Hall Lane, Walsall, who beat their £2,500 fundraising target to collect almost £3,000 between them.
Amara said: "Ten of us participated this time including aunts, cousins and friends. I was a bit nervous that they would come, but I needn't have worried - everyone turned up.
"We did a lot of training beforehand by going to the gym, jogging and using the trampoline at our play centre which meant the run yesterday was surprisingly easier than I thought it. If someone fell over we helped them up as we navigate the obstacles.
"It was good and I'm happy that we could do it. It was so nice to see all the people taking part in the warm-up when we arrived.
"As soon as we got there we saw a group of young girls who looked like they were about 15 years old with a sign on their backs with the word 'Mom', which said it all for me. Sights like that were so heart-warming.
"Some of the people had lost relatives to cancer or were survivors and that was the vibe."
Other groups included GPs and other staff based at Links Medical Practice, in Dudley, who raised more than £700.
Representatives from the Well Life Centre based in Birmingham Street, Oldbury, provided massages for the race participants in exchange for a £10 fee towards its projects.
Jane Redman, of Cancer Research UK, said: "The atmosphere on the day was incredible with over 1,500 women, men and children joining together to raise more than £125,000 for vital research.
"The passion and commitment of our supporters never ceases to amaze me and it is always moving to read the signs on people's backs saying who they are running for. Everyone got absolutely filthy and had a really good laugh, as well as sharing tears and hugs for those we have lost to cancer.
"There is still time to sign up and share in the fun of both Race for Life and Pretty Muddy, with events over the next few weekends in Dudley, Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent and Worcester."
The Race for Life 5k is a series of routes giving communities the chance to come gather and help beat cancer in non-competitive races to be completed at your own pace.
To sign up of future events visit website raceforlife.org.