Join the race against cancer

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HUNDREDS of women are signing up for a poignant race which is just weeks away.

But there is still time for more to enter Race For Life.

And for those who already have, fitness experts in Hartlepool have launched a training programme to help get people into shape.

Cancer Research UK’s five kilometre Race for Life will be held in Hartlepool on the seafront promenade at Coronation Drive, at 11am on Sunday, June 24.

Entrants can walk, jog or run the course and support Cancer Research UK’s vital work.

Claire Wase, event manager for Race for Life in Hartlepool, said: “We are issuing the rallying cry ‘it’s all of us versus cancer’ to mums and daughters and encouraging them to enter Race for Life, together, as soon as possible.

“Most women are able to walk 5k in an hour while chatting and having fun. The really startling fact is that, in the same period of time, around two people in the North East of England will be diagnosed with cancer.”

Last year, 1426 women walked, jogged or ran at the event and raised an incredible £69,641. This summer more than 240 participants have already entered and organisers are hoping that 1500 women will help hit a fundraising target of £71,000.

Cancer Research UK receives no Government funding for its ground-breaking research. So money raised through Race for Life is crucial to the pioneering work of doctors, nurses and scientists who are fighting cancer on all fronts.

Meanwhile, there is good news for anyone who has entered the race and who wants a helping hand to get into shape for the big day.

The sports development team at Hartlepool Borough Council will be holding a programme called Women’s Begin 2 which starts on Wednesday, April 18.

The programme, part of the Begin 2 series of initiatives in which activity officer Liam Lewis is playing a leading role, will help prepare for the event in June.

Gemma Ptak, the senior sport and physical activity co-ordinator with Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “One of the big aims of Women’s Begin 2 Run is to use it as a training programme for Race For Life.”

The programme runs on Wednesdays from April 18 to June 6 between 6pm and 7pm at Summerhill, in Hartlepool, and costs £20 for the full eight-week block.

Gemma said: “We are trying to push physical activity and Women’s Begin 2 Run starts with interval training. By the end, people will have really improved.

“We do it with the Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers and the idea is that women have the option of that club link. If they want, they could choose to move on and join the beginners at the Harriers.”

l To enter Race for Life, visit or call 0871 6411111.

l For more information on the Begin 2 course, contact (01429) 284050, or email

l And now that you have got that health bug, why not join the Hartlepool Mail’s own health drive called Race For Fitness?

We want to hear from at least 2,012 people in Hartlepool and east Durham who plan to spend this year improving their health.

Whatever your story, we want to hear it between now and the moment the Olympic flame is lit on July 27.

Contact Chris Cordner by writing to him at New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX, via email to or by calling (01429) 239377.