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Hundreds of runners braved challenging conditions on Sunday 29th September to take part in the first-ever Carlisle Children’s Cancer Run at Bitt’s Park. The new event was part of our 40th anniversary celebration plans in 2019 and surpassed all our expectations!

The idea for the event coming to the North West was thanks to 7-year-old Holly Brough from Cumbria who has battled childhood cancer herself and wanted to help others in her shoes who travel to Newcastle for treatment. The Brough family have supported the Newcastle Children’s Cancer Run since Holly was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in 2014, aged just two years old. Together with friends, the family approached NECCR about the idea of holding a Children’s Cancer Run in the North West and have been hugely supportive in pulling the plans together.

Despite the heavy rain, well over 800 took part in the family fun run, exceeding the predicted numbers. Our event team had to make last-minute adjustments to the course to allow it to safely go ahead due to the wet weather. Children and grown-ups had the choice of a one, three or five-mile cross-country route around Bitts Park. Once over the finish line, runners were rewarded for their efforts with a medal, t-shirt and a picnic bag.

Runners and their supporters were raising money for research into childhood cancer, with many children from the North West travelling over for treatment at the centre and who came along to the run to give their support.

Holly Brough came to the run with 2 friends she made whilst in hospital in Newcastle. Their mums became great friends too. Caroline Brough said of the event:

“We are all delighted with how many people braved the rain and mud to support this amazing charity. The event wouldn’t have been possible without the help of so many friends and volunteers. We thoroughly enjoyed this family fun day and hope this becomes an annual event.”

We were delighted with the turnout at the event, with numbers way beyond expectations for this initial event, with runners still signing up on the day in the pouring rain.

Chris Peacock, Chairman of NECCR, founder of the event and childhood cancer survivor himself, said:

“It’s been amazing to bring the run over to the North West as we know how many children in the area travel over to receive treatment in Newcastle. The money they raise will fund developing new treatments for childhood cancer and helping to improve survival rates. There’s still a long way to go to help improve those treatments, making them more effective and less aggressive to reduce some of the many traumatic side effects. Thank you Cumbria, you’ve welcomed us into your community and made this run your own. We can’t wait to come back next year.”

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