THOUSANDS of people pounded the streets of Oxford today to share their stories and raise vital funds in the fight against cancer.

About 3,000 participants walked, jogged and ran past the city's landmarks as Cancer Research UK's Race for Life returned to the city.

A wave of pink-coloured positivity swept across University Parks as participants set off at 10am, with many running in memory or support of friends and family.

Read also: Watch the start of Oxford Race for Life 2019

At the heart of proceedings was event manager Sophie Heath, 28, organising her fourth Oxford Race for Life.

The Cardiff resident was just 17 when she lost her mother to cancer and she now runs the Race for Life in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire too.

She said: "Cancer Research has always been close to my heart. I've always fundraised for the charity and there's no better way than organising the biggest events in the UK.

"This is a five-hour round trip for me but it's totally worth it. Everyone's doing it for someone - I would drive to Inverness and back to be involved."

The event raised an estimated £133,000 for the charity as young and old took on 5km and 10km routes.

Read also: Famous TV presenter starts Town and Gown 2019

This was the first year men could join in, with Roger Goodman, part of the team from Oxford University's St Anthony's College, revealing he 'jumped at the chance'.

He said: "My wife and daughter have been running this for many years and this is the first opportunity I've had."

Hundreds of people raced for personal reasons, including many veterans of previous editions of the race.

Tessa Beeston, from Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire, ran her first Race for Life 10 years ago after her mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer, which she has since beaten.

She wanted to take part this year after her sister-in-law was given the all-clear from breast cancer and explained the disease had hit her family hard.

Read also: Revellers dress to impress at Witney Carnival

She said: "Various members of my husband's family have had breast cancer, so I'm just here to do my bit."

A team of marshals helped the event run smoothly, while volunteers including Beth Wordsworth and Pam Venn, from Woodstock, sold flowers.

Ms Wordsworth had cancer treatment in 2008 and chairs the Churchill Partners fundraising group for cancer research at the Headington hospital.

Ms Venn said: "She's one of my best friends and I want to back her. My son has also had cancer, so this is a way of saying thank you."

Bicester resident Ryan McKenzie, 16, won the 5km race. The 10km winner has not yet been confirmed.