GIRL power was alive and running as the female population joined forces to raise money to combat cancer.

United in their mission to generate funds for Cancer Research UK, women of all ages came together at Down Grange Sports Complex last Wednesday to support this year’s Race for Life.

Dressed in all shades of pink, their message was loud and clear – ‘cancer – we’re coming to get you!’ There were tears, smiles and an enormous sense of achievement felt by those taking part in the Cancer Research UK and Tesco-backed event, in which entrants could run either a 5km or 10km course around the playing fields, off Pack Lane.

Names of loved ones fighting cancer, or those who had lost their battle with the disease, were displayed on the T-shirts of the thousands of women who took part.

Around 2,500 mums, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, nieces and friends walked, jogged or ran in the two events on the night.

A total of 2,200 participants raced in the 5km event, while 300 women took on the challenge of the tougher 10km course.

Before the race began, a warm up was held by Basingstoke personal trainer, Farah Fonseca, and a minute’s silence was held to remember loved ones who had lost their cancer battle.

Lea Blake, event manager, was delighted with this year’s race despite a mix-up with the track which saw a group of five people accidentally miss out a small section of the course.

She told The Gazette: “The event has been amazing considering what happened with the track mix-up. It has been an absolutely stunning day.

“Basingstoke is always a nice event and you get families and friends come out to cheer loved ones on. I am really pleased that we will be raising around £184,000, which is incredible, and it goes a long way to funding our research.”

There's a six-page picture special on the Race For Life in today's Gazette - on sale now!