Prom turned into a sea of pink in Race for Life

Blackpool Race for Life.  Baines Girls.
Blackpool Race for Life. Baines Girls.
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Karen Fox, of Preston, was taking part with her daughters, Emilia, aged nine and Lily, six.

She said: “The girls were taking part in memory of their grandad who they lost two years ago to cancer and their grandma, who has just been treated for cancer.

“Myself and Emilia had it done before, but it was Lily’s first time. The atmosphere is always great.”

Ewa Piotrowicz was taking part with around 14 members of the Fylde-based Nordic walking group, Stepping Out.

She said: “It’s always such a good event. It was really special because this year we had a lady joining us from Birmingham, who was coming to take part because her mum used to do Nordic walking in Poland and she was doing it in memory of her mum.

“It was her first time taking part. So it meant a lot.”

Lytham-based Park View 4U Running Club was taking part as a team – inspired by their coach Clive Barley, a cancer survivor who has run 13 marathons since being diagnosed.

June Brocklebank said: “We were doing it because of Clive, he is our mentor and inspiration.

“I had done it once before and some of the others had done it a few times. Clive’s daughter only started running a year ago and she was taking part.

“It’s the community spirit of the Race For Life we like, just like our running club. We have all ages, backgrounds, all walks of life – we all come together to run and it’s such a friendly atmosphere.”

Michelle Hughes, of Blackpool, was taking part in memory of her dad, former soldier John Hughes, who was married to Linda and had two children and a grandson. She was joined by Vicky Dunn, Pat and Gemma Walsh.

She said: “We lost our dad in March 2018 after being diagnosed with lung cancer only four weeks prior. This was truly a huge shock as he had a persistent cough and was sent to hospital for tests where it was discovered. This has been a devastating time for all his family and friends, especially in such a short space of time.

“He had many friends and loved to catch up for a few pints on his days off at his favourite pub the Mere Park.”

After an aerobic warm-up led by fitness instructor El Silcock, of Poulton-based Fortitude Fitness, all the women gathered at the start line, for a minute’s silence to remember all those who are fighting cancer, who have survived it and those lost to it.

Runners and walkers high-fived Linda and Peter as they passed them and crossed the start-line.

The first to finish the 5k course, were 13-year-old friends Emma Pomphret, of Blackpool and Poppy Bridge, of St Annes, who crossed the line together.

Poppy was running because her mum and her grandma had been treated for cancer and Emma was running for her grandma.

The first adult to finish was Julie Collins, of Lytham.

She said: “I take part every year, in memory of my friend, Amanda Robinson, who died seven years ago. It’s always a great event.”

As the sun set, Blackpool Tower was lit up with a pink heart to mark the occasion.