Katie Bulmer-Cooke: Inspired and emotional listening to Race For Life stories

Katie Bulmer-Cooke getting them warmed up for the recent Race For Life.
Katie Bulmer-Cooke getting them warmed up for the recent Race For Life.

Last week saw Sunderland turn out in force again, to support Race For Life in Herrington Country Park.

More than 1,700 ladies wore their bright pink outfits with pride as they ran, jogged or walked their way around either the 10k or 5k route.

I’ve been warming up the event for 10 years now, and I just don’t know where the time has gone!

Every year I stand on the stage and look out at a sea of smiling faces, ready to give it their all with so much energy and enthusiasm, and year after year so many people have stayed so loyal to the event.

It’s always great to see the same faces, but it’s equally brilliant to see so many people taking part for the first time, and getting outside of their comfort zone so that they can help raise funds for a charity that does so much to help so many.

It’s impossible not to feel inspired and emotional when listening to the incredible ladies who take to the stage to share their stories, and reading the heart felt messages on everyone’s back.

Although there is a sense of sadness around the event, because so many people have lost loved ones to cancer, there is also a feeling of positive spirit.

So many more people are surviving, and taking part in Race For Life as a celebration of their survival, which is absolutely fantastic.

A decade ago, when I first started warming up the event, I didn’t know anyone who had been affected by cancer, but now, ten years on, not only has it touched people I know, it’s also rocked my own family, so taking part in the event now means so much more.

This year’s event raised over £93,000 and 1700 women from our area took part, and is an incredible achievement.

Every single person who sponsored a friend, colleague or family member, who took part or came down to be a supporter should all be very proud!

One of the many great things about Race For Life is that anyone can take part, no matter of age, ability or fitness level.

The event attracts everyone from seasoned runners and gym goers to those who are new to exercise or pushing buggies along.

It truly is inclusive, and if you haven’t done it before I’d strongly urge you to get involved in whatever manner you can.

The team are always looking for volunteers, marshalls and supporters…you don’t have to make it around the course to make a positive contribution.

I’m already looking forward to next year and let’s see if team Sunderland can hit that £100,000 fundraising mark!