Sunderland’s Pretty Muddy and Race for Life runs raise thousands for Cancer Research UK

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HUNDREDS of women wallowed in mud to raise thousands for charity.

The Pretty Muddy event, at Herrington Country Park, attracted more than 1,800 girls and women to raise cash for Cancer Research UK on Saturday.

Cancer Research UK Pretty Muddy Event 2014, Herrington Country Park.

Cancer Research UK Pretty Muddy Event 2014, Herrington Country Park.

And yesterday, the same number again pulled on their running gear for a 10k and 5k route around the grounds.

Fund-raisers, including a group calling themselves The Crazy Warriors, faced an array of obstacles on the Pretty Muddy route,

The Crazy Warriors, from Sunderland, were raising money in memory of their aunt Carol Ferry, who lost her battle with cancer just two weeks ago.

The group of five sisters and two of their daughters also booked the event to mark Andrea Watson’s 40th birthday. Andrea, from Downhill, said: “I wanted to do something really different for my birthday and thought this would be really good fun, as well as raising money for a good cause.”

Together the women hope to have raised over £500.

Also wanting to have fun and boost funds were The Three Sisters, Dot Butler, 55, from Seaham and her siblings, June Peel, 56 and Orial Slaine, 61, from North Tyneside.

The Sunderland-born trio, were spurred into doing the race because Orial is a breast cancer survivor.

Dot said: “We have done the Race for Life before, but thought we would give the Pretty Muddy a go because it sounded like fun.”

Lee Wyatt, 47, and Ashlea Parsons, 43, both from Ford Estate, took part in the event in memory of Ashlea’s mum, Wendy Parsons, who lost her battle with cancer aged 60.

Lee said: “We do the Race for Life every year, but decided to do this because it just seemed like more fun, and it was great.”

Jeanette Dobbins, 34, from the city’s Havelock Park, was joined by a team of friends, all dressed as belly dancers, to complete the race.

Jeanette, a breast cancer survivor, said: “We had a great time, it was really, really good.”

Among those to cross the Race for Life’s 10k finishing line was Pennywell Youth Project’s finance officer Laura Kisby, 26, from Grindon. She said: “It was fabulous and a very proud day.”

Her friend Amber Cliff, 22, from Moorside, who works as a customer services advisor for Gentoo, added: “It was really good and we did it in under two hours, so we’re pleased.”

First across the 5k race line for the third year in a row was Katie Gunn, 15, who got a personal best by completing it in 19 minutes and four seconds.

The member of Birtley Athletics Club, who lives in Shiney Row and attends Park View School, was accompanied by mum Alison, 42, a pharmacist at Avenue Pharmacy in Roker.

They were running in memory of Alison’s dad Harry Briggs, who died aged 55, 15 years ago.

“It means the world to use of my dad and he would be so proud and he used to be a runner too when he was younger,” said Alison, who came fourth.

The races are expected to raise more than £80,000 for Cancer Research UK.