TODAY 2,140 runners in Calderdale were gearing up for tomorrow’s first-ever Cancer Research UK Race for Life in Halifax. And among them will be some incredibly inspirational runners.
Grandma Marion Hughes, 71, will be taking part in the 5k run at Savile Park, despite being diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer.
Also taking part will be Debbie Saville, mother of 19-year-old Lisa, who died in March after a night out.
Lisa had signed up to take part in the race just before she died and her mum will now take her place alongside a group of Lisa’s friends.
Mrs Saville said: “We’re running it for Lisa. She was supposed to be doing it, but I’m doing it now on her behalf.
“Lisa wanted to do it because we’ve had a lot of family members who’ve died of cancer. She has always wanted to help people with cancer. She wanted to help everyone.”
The team will be running in T-shirts with Lisa’s face on the back and her nicknames for them.
Many of the runners tomorrow have heartfelt stories and reasons for taking part – and none more so than Marion Hughes.
The grandmother of three – and a great grandchild on the way – has just learned her cancer is incurable but has vowed to not let it stop her enjoying life.
The pensioner, of Asbourne Cresent, Queensbury – who has single-handedly raised more than £1,000 – will be supported by her family and fellow runners grandaughter Maya Fieldhouse, 13, niece Stacey Farrell, 38, and great niece Lucy May, nine.
Her daughter Sam Fieldhouse said: “Mum just wants to live life to the full. She’s so determined for it not to affect her in any way.
“She is in pain but she refuses to give in. This race is typical of her, she’ll have a go at most things.
“I love her to bits. She’s the most amazing mother that anyone could have. I’m very proud of her.
“To have raised £1,000 single-handed is truly amazing.
“We are overwhelmed at the generosity of friends and family and my mum just wants to let everyone know how much she appreciates the support and kindness of these people.”
Savile Park will be a sea of pink as the 2,140 take part in the town’s first Race for Life, smashing original hopes for 1,800 to sign up.
Interest in the race stunned Cancer Research organisers as Halifax become the second fastest-selling race in the entire country.
A team from the Courier will be among those running – and is on target to raise more than £1,500.
The 5k course takes in circuits of Savile Park and Manor Heath from the 10am start time.
Runners are asked to get there from 9am and the warm-up starts at 9.30am.
Jenny Key, area events manager for Cancer Research UK, said: “It’s going to be awesome, come rain or shine.
“We’re just so pleased that so many are taking part. It would be great to see as many people there as possible to cheer the ladies on and the pinker the better or the crazier the better for outfits.
“I would urge everyone to remember to return their sponsorship money – because one in three don’t.”
To donate to Cancer Research UK, visit the Courier team website www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/halifaxcourier
• There is no car parking at the site however please park responsibly on side roads adjacent to the event area and car share or use public transport where possible
• Savile Park Road between Freeschool Lane and Skircoat Moor Road, Manor Heath road with the Junction of Manor Drive will be closed from 6am to 1pm and Queens Gate will be access only to Freeschool Lane from these times.
• The donation station will be collecting any unwanted clothes and there will be a couple of activity stalls on site and an opportunity to purchase limited edition ‘I joined the girls’ wrist bands.