THOUSANDS of women will today descend on Southampton for the annual Race for Life to help raise thousands of pounds for vital research into cancer.

For many it will be a poignant day as they run, walk and skip the 5k and 10k routes around the Common in memory of loved ones they have lost.

Others will be there to celebrate the brave battles they or friends and family have endured.

Joining them at the charity’s annual fundraiser will be eight ladies from Southampton car parts supplier H Kimber Friction, dressed in black T-shirts and bright pink tutus.

The firm are taking part in the 10k (6.21 mile) race in celebration of the motor factors firm’s 50th anniversary year and as a nod to friends, family, customers and colleagues who have been affected by cancer.

Director Anna Kimber will be running in memory of her grandfather, James Hardy, who died of lung cancer aged 74 in 2002.

She will be joined by financial controller Sue Allen, accounts clerks Lesley Burton, Cara Rossiter and Laura Guy and drivers Sarah Seagrave, Lucy Metcalfe and Melanie Ware.

Anna 27, from Chandler’s Ford, said: “It’s our 50th year of trading this yera, so we have got a few things going on like a trading evening, where we’re getting together with some of our clients.

“Then Race for Life was going on and we wanted to do it because it’s in Southampton and it’s a cause that we have always supported personally and as a business.

“I lost my grandfather through lung cancer and it’s nice to give something back.”

The firm was set up by Harold Kimber in Shirley Road, Freemantle in 1964, but since then it has moved to Bond Street, Southampton, and grown to become one of the biggest firms of its kind operating from a single branch.

Harold’s grandchildren Anna and Adam now run the firm, since their father, Malcolm, who had been at the helm for a number of years, retired.

Adam, 30, from Chandler’s Ford, will be cheering the ladies on and waiting at the finish line for them.

The H Kimber Friction team hope to raise £1,000 for Cancer Research UK.

Last year 6,047 women of all shapes, sizes, ages and levels of fitness took part in the 5k and 10k Southampton Race for Life women-only runs and helped raise £300,000 for Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work.

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