Sunderland Race for Life raises thousands for cancer research
Almost Â£100,000 has been raised in the fight against cancer after 1,700 pink ladies completed the 21st Sunderland Race for Life.
Women, children and even a few dogs took part in 5k and 10k events at Herrington Country Park in the shadow of the Penshaw Monument today.
They are expected to raise at least Â£94,000 for Cancer Research UK.
Many entrants had been affected personally by cancer including the loss of loved ones or those who are battling it now.
Fiona Murray, Cancer Research UK events manager, said every four minutes someone loses their life to the disease, and the money raised today will go to vital research taking place locally.
She said: "It's fantastic, we've smashed our participant target for today. Sunderland Race for Life is hugely important for Cancer Research UK.
"All the money raised today will go to the lifesaving work of Cancer Research UK. All of that Â£94,000 will go straight to our scientists.
"Great advances have been made in research but there is still more to be done so we really are relying on that money from today to help make further advances in the research we can do."
Among those taking part were a dozen family members of the late Sylvia Hahn, of Pallion, Sunderland, whose birthday it would have been today.
Her daughter Tracy Stokes said: "We lost her last September very quickly to this horrible disease. That's why we decided to do the race.
"She was the best mam and nana anyone could ever wish for."
The group included Sylvia's great-grandchildren Tilly Stokes, four, and Ted Squires, aged three.
Lisa Day, from Whitburn, completed the 5k course with her 14-year-old daughter Charlotte Grundy.
They did it because Charlotte's step-mum Vicki Graham is currently fighting secondary breast cancer.
Lisa said: "This is my second time doing Race for Life. It is really well organised and everybody has had fun."
Charlotte is the daughter of Simon Grundy, SUN FM Content Director and breakfast show presenter.
Carolyn Wall, 41, a carer from Sunderland, ran with her daughters Abby, 13, and Jessica, eight.
"I just wanted to give the kids an insight into charity work and Cancer Research," said Carolyn. "It is a great atmosphere."
A five-strong team ran in support of friend Suzanne Brown who has been diagnosed with leukaemia.
They were Vanessa Reed, Margarethe Bage, Sarah Hodgson, Sharon Wylie and Debbie Watson.
Vanessa said: "We were going to walk the route but were that determined we decided on running.
"It is a fabulous event. I have ran it for the last few years and will keep on doing it."
Tired participants were cheered over he finishing line by family and friends where they received their medals, a much-needed drink of water and a flower.
The event was sponsored by Tesco who gave out free bananas.