Running shoes at the ready for this weekend’s Race for Life events

Holly Dowler is running the Race for Life 10k. Photo: Cancer Research UK

Holly Dowler is running the Race for Life 10k. Photo: Cancer Research UK - Credit: Cancer Research UK

This weekend more than 6,000 women and children will be taking on a Race for Life event in Norwich to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Pretty Muddy: Race for Life event at the Norfolk Showground. May 2017. Picture: James Bass Photogra

Pretty Muddy: Race for Life event at the Norfolk Showground. May 2017. Picture: James Bass Photography - Credit: James Bass

It is hoped the five events taking place at the Norfolk Showground – Pretty Muddy Kids, Pretty Muddy 5k and 10k, and Race for Life 5k and 10k – will raise £395,000 for vital cancer research.

Tomorrow, children will be taking on the all new Pretty Muddy Kids – a new and exciting obstacle course designed just for children, with added mud, thrills and spills.

The event is open to boys and girls aged from five to 12 years old.

Later that morning, women and teenage girls will be taking on the standard 5k and 10k Pretty Muddy obstacle course.

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On Sunday, the traditional Race for Life 5k and 10k events return to see women and girls running, walking or dancing their way around the courses to raise money for vital research.

Of those taking on the 10k for the first time is Holly Dowler from Lowestoft, who set herself the challenge after losing seven stone in a year. The mum-of-one is running in memory of her nan and aunt.

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Mrs Dowler said: 'I haven't run 10k before but I am confident that I can get around. It's not about how fast you are, it's getting out there and doing it and knowing you're raising money for such a good cause.'

Laura Hughes, 30, from Norwich has stage four breast cancer. She will be at the races to cheer on all those who take to the route.

Miss Hughes said: 'It's because of research that I am still here, and that's why I think Race for Life is so important.'

Event manager Gemma Turpin said: 'We're looking forward to a great weekend at the Norfolk Showground. Race for Life events are one of a kind, they are not about being first to the finish line, they are about coming together for a great cause.

'Without the incredible fund-raisers who will be coming along this weekend, we simply wouldn't be able to do our life-saving research.'

Mother and daughter Rachael and Lyla are taking to the start line this weekend.

Rachael Donovan is running the Race for Life after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010 after finding a lump near her collarbone.

The 39-year-old will be running with her 10-year-old daughter.

Mrs Donovan said: 'I spoil my daughter now, I think it's a bit of guilt, she had a year where she didn't have a mummy.

'I was at treatment, or ill or asleep, she didn't really have a mum.

'I think everyone needs to be aware of the research and put their hands in their pocket and pay what you can.

' We do a monthly direct debit, we didn't beforehand, but because you don't realise until you've had cancer or know someone who's had it, that research is so important.

'It's so great to raise awareness and the need for research, people know cancer and think it's a death sentence, it's not.'

See Monday's paper for a photo special on Race for Life.

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