EACH and every one of the runners had their own reasons for competing in the Race for Life as Seaton Carew was turned into a sea of pink.
But on a day bursting with emotion, they all had one thing in common.
They were determined to do all they could to help the fight against cancer.
TFM breakfast DJ Wayne Allen whipped the crowd up with a pre-race routine that included poignant interviews being broadcast over the loudspeakers, along with some carefully-selected songs.
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun got more than one airing.
And the girls did just that, regardless of age, shape or size lacing up their trainers before proudly attaching their race numbers to their t-shirts.
Some of the competitors had an eye on the clock as they tackled the 5km course along Seaton Carew seafront.
Others were happy to walk. Some carried babies on their backs, others took the chance to take the dog along for a Sunday morning stroll.
Batman and Robin joined in, and we even had the sight of one group jogging along pushing a miniature caravan carrying a tiny Shetland pony called Cinderella.
It was that sort of day.
Backed by a vociferous crowd that lined the route offering support, competitors set off sporting beaming smiles.
But as the emotional messages pinned on the backs of many of the runners testified, there were plenty of tears along the way too.
One message read: “I’m doing this for you Mum”.
Another said: “We’ll never forget you Nanna”.
There were touching messages to mams and dads, brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles, grandmas and granddads, all sadly no longer with us.
The runners remembered friends and colleagues who had also lost their cancer battles, others were taking part to do their bit to help those still bravely battling with a determination not to be beaten.
One runner wore a running vest adorning a message hastily scrawled in marker pen: “For everyone touched by cancer”.
That summed it up perfectly.
It was once said that in sporting events, it’s not the winning but the taking part that matters.
On an occasion like this, that has never been more appropriate.
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