Over 1,000 people who took part in Race for Life are expected to raise over £40,000

Over 1,000 people took part in the Race for Life along the North Bay last night.

It was the 25th anniversary year of the event organised annually by Cancer Research UK to raise money for research into cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Runners setting out on the course. PIC: Richard Ponter

Runners setting out on the course. PIC: Richard Ponter

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A spokesperson for the charity said last night's participants were expected to raise over £40,000 - topping the £33,000 in 2018.

The majority of runners, 989, opted to run the 5K course which started and ended at Sealife Scarborough and went through the Open Air Theatre and along Marine Drive.

A further 200 people entered the 10K course which also included a double lap of the theatre.

Dawn Pickburn and Dotty ahead of the race. PIC: Richard Ponter

Dawn Pickburn and Dotty ahead of the race. PIC: Richard Ponter

It was the first year men could participate and 100 signed up to take part, as well as 221 children and quite a few dogs who lined up at the start line with their owners.

Despite the hot and humid conditions the first runner to cross the finish line, Paul Sutherns, did so in just over 20 minutes.

I also signed up for the race, as I have done every year, in honour of my mum who, through chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery - all more gruelling than running 5K - has beaten breast cancer twice.

The reasons people were running pinned on the backs of their t-shirts acted as a reminder of just how many people are touched by cancer in some way which made the race a poignant experience.

Julie Hatton and Sian Robson warm up. PIC: Richard Ponter

Julie Hatton and Sian Robson warm up. PIC: Richard Ponter

It is not an race about winning, but about raising money for those people mentioned on participants' tshirts, and people band together to make sure everyone gets to the end.

Participants ran in pairs, small groups and as part of teams and many scenes of friends encouraging their running partners could be seen along the track, reinforcing the inclusive nature of Race For Life.

The Race for Life is now Cancer Research UK’s biggest series of fundraising events having started in 1994 when 750 participants raised £48,000 at an event in Battersea.

The charity receives no government funding and relies on fundraising to continue its work.

Special messages. PIC: Richard Ponter

Special messages. PIC: Richard Ponter

The fact it is a non-competitive race coupled with the supporters at the side of the course cheering everyone on always creates a brilliant atmosphere and makes it genuinely fun to take part in.

In Scarborough we're lucky to have one of the most picturesque routes to run along particularly when the sea is lit up by the sun - the only thing that could have made last night's event better would have been a bit of sea breeze.

A gallery of pictures from the Race for Life 2019 can be viewed here.