RACE for Life 2014 celebrates its 19th year in Oxford this summer and fitness instructor Victoria Morrison is hoping to get even more women up and running in her now traditional ‘warm-up’ session.
Race for Life began at Battersea Park in London in 1994 and after coming to Oxford two years later, it is now one of the city’s biggest fundraising events.
Last year, 6,165 women took part, raising £362,538 through sponsorship for Cancer Research UK.
In 2014 it is hoped 6,300 women and girls will run, walk or jog the 5k route around the University Parks and the city centre on Sunday, July 13, raising more than £370,000.
And making sure they are all warmed-up and ready to give the event their all, will be Victoria Morrison.
The 38-year-old fitness instructor from Wantage, was called in to lead the warm-up at the event 10 years ago, and has been doing it ever since.
She said: “The organisers of the warm-up called me in 1994 because they had been let down by the person who was due to do it. I had just enrolled myself and a group from one of my aerobics classes into the race and said: “Yes, why not?”
“On the day itself I was so nervous, even though I had been rehearsing the routine with all my 12 classes for weeks.
“It went brilliantly and since then I have done it every year, the last few with my friend Louise Oliver.”
Race for Life competitors range from school-age children to great-grandmothers and many wear pink fancy dress and signs on their back featuring the names of loved ones who have fought cancer.
Mrs Morrison added: “It has been wonderful to see the race grow and evolve in the last 10 years.
“There are ladies taking part who have had cancer, lost loved ones to cancer and even those having treatment for cancer. But all are doing it to make a stand against the disease.
Entry costs £14.99 for adults and £10 for girls under 16 – go to raceforlife.org or call 0845 600 6050.
Are you an individual or part of a team entering this year’s Race for Life? If so, email the Oxford Mail newsdesk at: firstname.lastname@example.org