MORE than 1,300 people headed to Southampton Common as Race for Life returned to Southampton.

After being cancelled last year, the popular event run by Cancer Research UK went ahead with people taking part in the 3k, 5k 10k and Pretty Muddy events.

The Southampton event alone is said to have raised £50,000 which will now go towards helping scientists find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

One pair that took part was 29-year -olds, Anne-Marie and Henry from Winchester.

Having both experienced cancer with their grandparents, Anne-Marie said she was running in memory of her mum who recently passed away.

She said: “It’s been great fun. I just thought it would be really nice to do this today and do it for her.”

Henry added: “The weather has been good as well which is nice and it’s for a great cause.”

Every year 1,200 people are diagnosed with cancer in Southampton according to Cancer Research UK.

After the difficulty of having to cancel events last year, the charity is now calling on those who took part to make every step count by paying in sponsorship money as soon as possible.

Thanking everyone for their effort, Georgina Ainsworth, Race for Life Southampton event manager said: “It’s great to see so many people back at Southampton Common after 12 months without this event.

“It’s a brilliant atmosphere and great to see a sea of pink across the course.

“The Cancer Research UK centre here in Southampton received £6.5m last year towards lifesaving research and the money raised today will support more of that clinical work to help more people survive cancer.”

Another runner, Rachel, who lost both her aunts to cancer, said: “It went really well actually, I wouldn’t have been able to run a 10k without training so I have been doing lots of practice and this is the first time I’ve actually doing it without stopping.

“I think the adrenaline, the atmosphere and seeing everyone else running kept me going.”

Claire Kennedy said: “It was really hot but really good. It was good to be back.

“It was a really good atmosphere and it’s good to be running for a good cause as well.

“I’ve had loved ones die of cancer and I work for the NHS so I thought it would be good to raise some money.”