Hundreds take part in Hartlepool's Race for Life which remembered a much-loved married couple
Around 1,000 people have joined together to raise funds for Cancer Research UK in the hope of finding a cure for cancer.
For the first time men joined in the 5K and 10K races, as almost 1,000 people showed their support for the cause along the seafront between Hartlepool and Seaton Carew today.
The family of a Hartlepool couple who were both diagnosed with cancer on the same day rang the starting bell to mark the beginning of the race.
Nora and Trevor Woodward were diagnosed with cancer just 45 minutes apart on December 22, 2011. They had been married for 36 years.
Nora died on January 3, 2012, while Trevor died 10 days later, on the day of Norma’s funeral.
Their son and daughter, Dan Woodward and Becky Hetherington, plus four grandchildren, Ethan, Grace, William and Harry, who is celebrating his birthday, were guests of honour at the race.
Dan said: “I knew it was going to be emotional, they passed away seven years ago but it is still quite raw for us.
“It’s Harry’s birthday today, he’s eight, so we will be going for a meal afterwards to celebrate.
“We’re really grateful for the opportunity to come down and ring the bell and start the race today. It’s fantastic to see so many people taking part.”
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Sister Becky added: “It’s a brilliant thing to see so many people here come out and raise funds for such an important. Cancer affects so many people and so much has been raised here today during such difficult times.”
Among those to take part in the race were Karen and Brian Umpleby, aged 47 and 57, who live in Seaton, and raised £150 for the cause.
Karen has been taking part in the races for the last five years after her mum was diagnosed with cancer.
Karen said: “My mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer and sadly passed away in 2015.
“She did the run with us the first time when she was going though treatment and I’ve done it every year since.”
This is the first year men have been able to take part in the event which meant husband Brian was able to join in and raise funds.