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Thousands take part in Rochester's Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research UK

By Chris Hunter

A field of 2,000 participants ran, jogged, walked and in some cases almost resorted to crawling through the heat for the Rochester Race for Life.

Soaring temperatures and blazing sunshine made for great conditions – if you were watching.

The Race for Life warm up in Rochester Castle Gardens
The Race for Life warm up in Rochester Castle Gardens

But for many of the runners, undertaking the 5k course on what was the hottest day of the year so far meant their faces soon matched the standard pink attire worn for the charity run.

It was all in a good cause though – and organisers expect the run to have raised around £145,000 for Cancer Research.

It was contested mainly by women, but children were also able to compete, including boys, and first over the line was Ethan Burling, 11, of Hanover Drive, Wigmore.

Winner Ethan Birling aged 11
Winner Ethan Birling aged 11

Even though he had never previously run further than 3.5k, Ethan swims every day and had trained for the race with his mum, Rebecca.

He said: “I had good expectations but when they started racing they all sped off and I wasn’t sure.”

The Fairview Community Primary School pupil gradually worked his way through the crowd, before finding himself at the head of the field with a clear track ahead.

“I felt overwhelmed when I crossed the line,” he added. “Everyone was cheering.”

His mum finished a few minutes later and said: “When we trained he was so fast. Just before the race, he said ‘I think I can win’.”

  • Don't miss more Race for Life pictures in our three-page special in tomorrow Medway Messenger.
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