In the one hour it took most participants to complete Sunday’s Race for Life 5km route in Edinburgh, around three people in Scotland would have been diagnosed with cancer.
Participants in the Holyrood Park event demonstrated the far-reaching effects of the illness with messages written across their backs explaining why they had taken part, everything from “For Mum” to “For me, and all those who have suffered.”
Women from across the city had joined forces to raise money for Cancer Research UK and the work it does to save lives of cancer sufferers.
On the day I joined some 4500 female cancer survivors or relatives and friends, walking, jogging and running in memory and celebration of loved ones, to make my way round Arthur’s Seat.
A familiar and perhaps insignificant journey for most, buoyant fundraisers transformed the Radical Road into a sea of pink.
So too was the starting line at the bottom of Arthur’s Seat, as runners from the earlier 10km route petered out and 5km hopefuls piled in along to feel-good music from the PA and joined in on an aerobic warm-up from an instructor on stage.
Raring to go, the crowd were given an emotional reminder of why they were there, with a poignant message on the big screen telling both positive and tragic stories, before proceeding to the start line.
Soon the multi-coloured (but mostly pink) crowd, which included masks, tutus, barbies and leg-warmers, not to mention an assortment of fairy wings and dressed-up dogs, made its way up the hill.
Girls and women pushed pushchairs, wheelchairs, hopped three-legged and and space-hopped the course, stopping to enjoy the view and take photographs in what was less a race than a party.
Mother and daughter Wendy and Rachel Cruickshank used space-hoppers to complete the course. “We’re doing this for my father, Rachel’s grandfather.
“He died one month ago and today, Father’s Day, is his birthday, which makes it mean all the more.”
Elaine Forsyth, who is currently recovering from cancer, also completed the 5km race.
She said: “Having cancer myself highlighted to me the need for money to be ploughed into research into ways of beating it.
“So, however small bit of difference I can make is a step in the right direction.”
Did you do the Race for Life? Let us know how it went.
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