MORE than £124,000 was raised over the Race for Life weekend that was held at Lydiard Park in May.

An army of 3,414 mums, daughters, sisters, sons and friends descended on the site over two days clad in the distinctive pink of Cancer Research UK.

Together they walked, ran and scrambled around the Race for Life and Pretty Muddy courses to raise vital funds in the fight against cancer.

The participants, some wearing t-shirts carrying the names of loved ones who have lost their lives to the disease, created an electric atmosphere over the two days. Tears and laughter were shared in equal measure.

But the efforts of so many would have been for nothing had those backing them not dug deep into their pockets to fill the coffers of the charity.

Fortunately, they did exactly that.

Once again Swindon stood up to cancer in huge numbers and so far, a staggering £124,451 has been donated.

The event organisers are delighted with the response - but they're now keen to remind participants to make sure their every step counts by collecting and returning any remaining sponsorship money as soon as possible.

Michelle Leighton, Cancer Research UK’s Swindon events manager, said: “Life-saving research is being funded right now thanks to the women that took part and raised money.

"Our participants play a crucial role in helping to turn discoveries made in the lab into better treatments for patients across Gloucestershire and across the UK.

“Many people don’t realise that their entry fee only covers the cost of the event. It’s the sponsorship money that really makes a difference. Money raised - whether it’s £10 or £100 - will help Cancer Research UK scientists find new ways to treat cancer and save more lives.”

One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives, but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before.

Cancer survival has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.

Last year, around £2m was spent in the South West on some of the leading scientific and clinical research happening right now in the UK.

Dr Áine McCarthy, the charity's senior science communications officer, said: “We want to see people with every type of cancer, including those that are hard to treat, have the best chance of surviving their disease and living a long, healthy life afterwards. "The advances we've made since Race for Life started in 1994 show we are moving in the right direction.

"Thanks to new treatments and improvements in early diagnosis, more people are surviving cancer today than ever before. But too many lives are still lost.

“That’s why we need everyone who took part in Race for Life and Pretty Muddy in Swindon to take the vital last step by returning their sponsorship money so that our scientists, doctors and nurses can continue to make vital strides forward in research.”

Sponsorship money can be paid in online, by phone 0300 123 0770, by cheque to Race for Life, PO Box 1579, Oxford OX4 9HX or in person at any Cancer Research UK shop.