Hundreds of women beat the heat for Horsham’s second Race for Life

Ellie Mae Wile-Dunne starts the race. Photo by Jim Dunne, JiTo Photography
Ellie Mae Wile-Dunne starts the race. Photo by Jim Dunne, JiTo Photography

Horsham Park was engulfed by a sea of pink on Sunday (June 8) as more than 1600 women tackled Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.

Braving the intense heat, women and girls of all ages cheered each other on during the charity run.

Distances of 5km and 10km were defeated and thousands of pounds was raised for the cancer charity.

Held in Horsham Park for the second time, the annual event, one of many nationwide, hopes to raise more than £150,000 for the charity.

The race was started by an inspirational five-year-old just after 11am.

Ellie Mae Wile-Dunne, from Southwater, who turns six later this month, is still undergoing chemotherapy as she suffers from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

She became ill shortly before her fourth birthday and was unable to walk for around 18 months as she battled the disease, but her family hope she is now on the road to recovery.

She was invited by Cancer Research UK to start the race, and was pushed around the course by mother Nikki Wile while father Jim Dunne of JiTo Photography captured images of the event.

Helen Curtis, Race for Life event manager for Horsham, said: “I want to say a heartfelt ‘thanks’ to everyone who took part in Race for Life, and their supporters, as well as our heroic volunteers.

“It was a fantastic day, full of emotion, courage, tears and laughter as over 1600 women joined forces to show cancer who’s boss.

“Now I’m asking all the women who took part - and all the friends, family and colleagues who pledged to sponsor them - to transform their passion into progress by returning the money they’ve raised as soon as possible.”

More than 120 Farlington School girls, mothers and staff took part.

A strong presence on the day, Team Farlington believe they made up one tenth of all runners in the 5k race.

Team Farlington has already exceeded its £2,000 target for the charity event and is set to collect even more.

Trish Law has taken part in the Race for Life seven times with her daughter, Theresa Simpson.

Her three granddaughters have also taken part in many of the races - Jess Simpson, 12, Abbie, 11, and Leah, 8.

This year Trish, a volunteer at East Street’s Cancer Research UK charity shop, has raised £4,500.

Annie and Liz Fox completed the race in 39 minutes, raising more than £500 for the charity.

They ran in memory of ‘granny/mum’ who passed away two years ago, while husband and father David has beaten skin cancer twice.

First Barns Green and Itchingfield Rainbows and Brownies, aged from five to ten, baked and sold cakes before the race, raising more than £90 from that sale alone and more than £600 in total.

Wearing a variety of pink headwear, ears and flowers, the girls walked briskly around the 5km course.

All the girls ran with smiles on their faces and were delighted to wear their medals.