A WOMAN who battled cancer for five years took part in the Hackpen Hill 10k just two weeks after getting the all-clear.

Donna Thomas joined a huge crowd of runners at the start of the fifth annual off-road event in Broad Hinton that featured spectacular views of the Wiltshire countryside.

The 46-year-old from Calne signed up with her partner Bernie and excitable dogs Kaija and Daisy to support Brighter Futures.

Donna said: "I had a constant grin on my face because I feel like I've been given another chance, I was just happy to be there and celebrate life. I was over the moon when I got the call to say I had the all-clear. It's been a horrendous journey and I felt like my life had been put on hold.

"I was training for a triathlon when I got the diagnosis. They couldn't find the primary source of the cancer but it had spread to my lymph nodes and I thought my number was up.

"A month ago they found another lymph node and I thought I'd have to go through it all again but they later said it was benign, though they''re still operating to remove it just for peace of mind.

"The staff of the Royal United Hospital in Bath were unbelievably brilliant people. Bernie has been my rock. I couldn't have gone through all this without him."

Impressionist and Brighter Futures patron Rory Bremner kicked off the run after his electrician, event organiser Paul Bailey of the Wroughton Whippets, asked for a favour.

Rory said: "Paul is absolutely brilliant, he's so positive, he inspires people and he always has a smile on his face.

"I want to be like him when I grow up -if I ever grow up. My daughter took part in the run but I couldn't because I have a bad knee - I need to get a new one off Kneebay."

Weir Farm's owner James Hussey led the runners on horseback with his wife Nikki.. The first Hackpen Hill 10k happened because his first wife Gill's dying wish was for people to support Brighter Futures.

Mr Hussey said: "It's been a great project to be involved in, we can't wait for the radiotherapy unit to be built, it will be life-changing.

"It was lovely to share the countryside with people who love it and support a great cause."

Food and drinks refuelled the runners after they finished. A team of volunteers including Terry Stevens set up the course.

Sponsors and supporters included Richard James estate agents, Fundamentals Ltd, Three-Line electrical wholesalers, Eastcott Vets, High Five Energy, NFU race insurance, Wroughton Electrical.