Race for Life 2006

Beth with her Medal

I’ve just uploaded the pictures I took of Beth and a number of other women from St James taking part in the 2006 Race for Life, held in Prospect Park, Reading, in aid of Cancer Research. As some of the people in the St James team were from the Youth Group and Junior Choir, the team shots that include them aren’t generally available, however there are some general views of the scenes in the park, and also a shot of Beth finishing and getting her medal.

As you no doubt will have realised it, it probably wasn’t the ideal day to run a race, as although the event started at 7:30pm, when it was starting to cool, with the record breaking temperatures earlier in the day, it was still pretty warm at the start.

We had a large contingent of people from St James, many running and walking in memory of Rev Sheila, our former priest-in-charge who died as a result of breast cancer. Having said that, as an indication of quite how many lives the disease touches, almost everybody was running for a number of other people too.

The race was divided into two, runners and walkers. At the front were the more serious runners, the fastest of which completed the 5km course in just over 20 minutes. The fastest of the St James participants came in not too long after that, with many of our team coming in between 30 and 60 minutes. Beth came in at 55 minutes, which was just over her target of 50 minutes, partly because she ended up quite a long way back in the walkers at the start.

For such a hot day, there were relatively few problems that I saw – most people drinking lots of water as they went around the course. The organisers also relented over not giving out free water at the finish. Certainly all our participants seemed to have got around without too many problems.

In terms of the money raised, a quick total up amongst about half the team before the race came to about £2000 – a really superb total. I’m sure Beth will be posting a full description of what it was like to participate over the next couple of days.

Incidentally, if at this point you are thinking that it is slightly sexist, only allowing women to enter – it is possible for men to get into the race – with a little bit of deviousness. We spotted a couple of men, with valid numbers, in this years race in fairly obvious drag – complete with handbags… 😀 Whether they managed to enter themselves, or whether somebody else entered for them we don’t know. Having said that, the officials didn’t seem to make a fuss over it, and they added to the entertainment on the night.

One thought on “Race for Life 2006”

  1. The race sounds similar to an event I participate in called The Relay For Life. It is also in support of the (Canadian) Cancer Society, and raises money for Cancer research.

    The relay starts off at 1900h with a bagpiper escorting the survivors around on the intial lap, all dressed in their bright blue t-shirts. There are tears in so many peoples eyes, especially when the babies in blue come around held by their parents. Then the relay begins. There is another ceremony at sunset, a candle lighting ceremony for those that did not survive. The candles are placed in special flame resistant paper bags, and the names of those loved ones that passed with Cancer are written on each bag. There are thousands of them, and they light the path for the walkers all night long.

    One to two team members must be on the course at all times, and we switch off every hour or so until 0700h the next morning. In the meantime we can get reflexology, massages, sumo wrestle one another, practise our golf strokes, go to educational workshops on cancer treatment, or listen to one of the local bands that play etc.

    It is quite the event, with each team setting up a tent in the middle of the course, and decorating it with pictures of the person(s) they are walking in memory of, and having BBQs, and trading survivor stories. You meet people in these ‘camps’ as you walk along the course. It is tiring, and touching, and profoundly sad, and yet hopeful.

    The team I usually walk with is called The Naughty Nurses, some girls that I work with at the Shaver Hospital. Our mascot is Betty Boop, dressed as a naughty nurse, we have her on our t-shirts and water bottles and so on. One of the girls even dresses as her, complete with short, tight, white uniform and garters. LOL

    Next year my sister and I will be starting our own team in memory of her friend Wendy. Wendy is currently still alive, just barely at 36, dieing of cervical cancer and leaving 4 chlidren behind.

    Anyhow this is getting long winded … talk with you both soon … much love Meli xox

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.