PHOTOS: Burnley Race for Life 2011

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LEGIONS of women brought a splash of colour and carnival to a rainy Race for Life 2011.

The grey day was brought alive with a sea of pink as more than 1,600 women and girls ran the 5km course through Towneley Park in aid of Cancer Research.

Organisers were overwhelmed by the “fantastic” spirit of the day and said money raised could top £85,000.

Laura Taylor, Race for Life manager in Burnley, said: “It has been a great day. We had a bit of rain this morning but it came nice ready for the event.

“It has been a massive celebration. Everyone has had a great time.

“A lot of people who have done it are having chemotherapy or are trying to beat cancer at the moment or a lot of people have had loved ones who have died of cancer. It is emotional but it is also a celebration.”

All the mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and workmates stood shoulder to shoulder under the banner “Together we will beat cancer.”

There was a party feel with runners dressed in everything from pink cowboy hats to bunny ears and wigs and crowds danced along to Rihanna in the warm-up

As the jubilant joggers and walkers took to the start line the sun peeped out before the race was started by mum-of-one Claire Matthews (30), who has twice survived cancer.

Charlotte Hartley (25), of Cliviger, finished the course first with a time of 18 minutes 21 seconds.

Eleven-year-old Laura Nutall, of Barrowford, claimed an astonishing third place finish. Her mother Nicola, who came fourth, said: “We were running in memory of my grandad who we lost to cancer.

“This is the first one we have done together. It is the first time we have been in competition. I did the London Marathon too and raised £700 so I have been hard in training and she still beat me. She is a future star.”