AS today is International Women's Day, the Echo looks back at an event 20 years ago that brought thousands together for a good cause.

Every single one of the women who ran or walked around Southampton Common in the annual Race for Life on June 27, 2002, was a champion.

Each had been touched by cancer – leading to their participation in one of the south’s biggest fundraising events.

And their efforts raised more than £250,000 for the fight to find a cure for the killer disease.

Sheila Baker raises her hands to finish the Race for Life.

Sheila Baker raises her hands as she crosses the finish line

An amazing 5,000 competitors took part in the event – topping the previous year's record number by more than 2,000.

Thousands of supporters were there to cheer on mums, grandmums, daughters and sisters.

They were all heroines – each and every one of them.