Family aged 1 to 95 to join Race for Life

Four generations of the same family are preparing to don their running shoes to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

What's got eight legs, is 183 years old, runs five kilometres in two hours and is determined to help fight cancer?

What may sound like an obscure pub joke in fact refers to four generations of the same family who are preparing to don their running shoes to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

One-year-old Heather Rushmer and her great-grandmother, Lilian Weeks, 95, should be the youngest and oldest people taking part in the Race for Life fun run at the Norfolk Showground on May 5.

The energetic pair from Cromer will be joined by Heather's mother, Rachel, grandmother, Penny Sprules, and thousands of other women on the 5km race, which should raise £1m to research cancer cures.

Lilian is being pushed round the course in her wheelchair and if Heather, who can toddle for about a mile, finds the race tiring she can be carried on her great-grandmother's lap until she recovers her energy.

Rachel Rushmer, 29, who completed the Race for Life last year, said: “If anyone slows us down, Lilian can just poke them with her stick to hurry them up.

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“We all live together and we just thought instead of getting a babysitter for Heather and someone to look after gran we would all do the race together.

“Because we can only go as fast as Lilian, I suppose we will be probably one of the slowest finishers on the day. But I am sure we will all have a great time.”

The family, who hope to raise £400 in sponsorship, have known friends who have died from cancer, and Lilian lost her brother to the disease.

Participants in the Race for Life, now in its 16th year, wear pink running gear and name tags of family and friends who succumbed to cancer.

Penny Sprules, 57, whose father-in-law died from cancer, said: “It is so incredibly moving to see everyone in the race with the names of loved ones they have lost.”

This year, a record-breaking 16,000 women will be taking part in various Race for Life events in Norfolk, hopefully raising £1.25m for Cancer Research UK.

Heidi Connell, race organiser, said: “I think what this family is doing is absolutely phenomenal. It never ceases to amaze me what people will do to help fight cancer.”

To sponsor the family visit www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/fourgenerations