It certainly looked like everyone taking part in Hull’s Race for Life was having a great time.
But behind the smiling faces were stories of heartbreak and sadness as many there have endured the loss or witnessed the suffering of someone diagnosed with cancer.
Others were celebrating surviving the disease, all the while knowing and remembering the fear upon hearing the c-word for the first time and the battle they faced to survive.
Around 1,800 people took part in the event on Sunday at Costello Stadium. When the race started on Sunday, £64,000 had already been raised and this figure was expected to increase.
Ahead of the start of the race, runners also heard how combined with the previous day’s Pretty Muddy 5k event , also at Costello Stadium, £130,000 had been raised.
On Sunday, runners tackled the 5k route, but there was also the opportunity to run 10k.
Here, we celebrate the amazing runners and tell their stories behind why they took part.
Demi Ketley, 13, who lost her dad to cancer when she was just 10 years old
Demi, who attends Marvell College, was the first girl to cross the 5k finish line on Sunday, after taking part in memory of her dad who died of lung cancer just three years ago.
Before suffering lung cancer, Demi’s dad also had Ewing sarcoma and had been in remission for about eight months. In total, he bravely battled cancer for about ten years.
Demi, of east Hull, said: “When I was ten, in 2016, my dad died of cancer. He was 28 when he died. He would be proud.
“I was in front and then I got really behind. I’m buzzing [to have been the first girl across the finish line].
“I did Race for Life last year as well. I definitely want to do it next year.”
Demi’s mum, Sarah Smith, 33, said Demi’s dad would have been proud of his daughter, just as she and Demi’s older brother, Callum, are.
“I’m super proud,” she said. “She has done really well. She didn’t get chance to say goodbye to her dad, she was at school.
“He would be massively proud of her. She was a daddy’s girl. He would have been at the front [watching her].”
Andrew Hall, 22, was running for an ‘amazing’ friend
Andrew Hall, 22, was the first person to cross the finish line for the 5K.
He was running for a friend who is currently battling cancer.
Mr Hall, of Kingswood, who is a librarian at Marvell College, said: “I didn’t expect it to happen but it’s not about winning, it is about raising money for beating cancer.
“We are raising money for a friend who has cancer. It means a lot to us.
“We have raised over £3,000 and are hoping to get more. It’s a great cause and a great day and everyone is having a great time.
“You don’t think about it really do you until it hits someone close to you, the person we are all running for is an absolutely amazing person.”
Michael Manders, 34, was running to ‘beat cancer for everyone’
Michael Manders, who works for Hull Trains, had quite possibly the most striking outfit of the day.
He was taking part to help beat cancer “for everyone”.
“I am taking part to just try and beat cancer for everyone,” he said. “I’ve had a grandparent who had breast cancer and she survived that.”
Explaining his unique outfit choice, he said: “It is something pink. A lot of my work colleagues supported me.
“I’ve loved it. I’m not as tired as I thought I would be. I’ve only been running six weeks.”
Margeret Taylor, 78, showed age just doesn’t matter
Margeret admits she is probably one of the oldest taking part in the race, although says she knows one person who took part on Sunday who is older than her.
“I did it in under 36 minutes,” she said. “I’ve done the Hull 10k three times – 2014, and then the last two.
“I’m a great believer in keeping your body fit while you can and not giving in to old age.
“I cycle, I do more gardening than most of the population, I’m a member of Fit Mums and I do the park run.”
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