THE telephone lines are open and the website is live - the build-up for this year's Gazette-backed Race for Life has started.

Last year was the inaugural race for Basingstoke and 2,500 women took part, raising more than £120,000 for charity.

Race for Life is the Imperial Cancer Research Fund's national series of sponsored 5km walks and runs held exclusively for women.

Jan Lefley, the community development manager at Richard Aldworth Community School, was one of the driving figures in the Basingstoke challenge.

Jan and her friend June Balcombe managed to persuade the event's organisers to stage the charity race in Basingstoke.

They were more than rewarded when the town not only recorded the highest number of entries for an inaugural race but also raised more than three times the predicted amount of money.

The race was so popular that the organisers had to put a limit on the number of people taking part.

Jan is confident that Basingstoke can do even better this time around.

She said: "We are going even bigger this year. We are asking everyone who entered last year to bring a friend," said Jan.

"Imperial Cancer has projected 3,500 entrants for Basingstoke this year but we say there will be 5,000." The Race for Life will be held at Down Grange on June 27.

Entry forms are available by calling 08705 134 314 or by logging on to the race website,