THOUSANDS of women who battled through mud for cancer research have raised £160,000.

More than 3,000 ladies and girls took to their marks at Southampton Common for the Pretty Muddy charity run.

Women of all ages, shapes and sizes have tackled the 5km route lined with mud baths and other major obstacles - which is part of a series of Race for Life events taking part in the city this weekend.

They ultimately aim to raise more than £500,000 for Cancer Research UK's doctors, nurses and scientists to advance research while saving the lives of millions of people.

The Common was transferred into a sea of pink with runners sporting the charity's colours and donning brightly coloured tutus, hats, wigs and splashing themselves with facepaint.

But all that pink was transformed to muddy brown as they set out on an obstacle course which involved mud baths, giant slides and being doused with buckets of slop.

As they crossed the finishing line cheered on by crowds the elation was mixed with emotional moments with everyone having a story about how cancer had touched their lives.

Shelley Hughes, 42, from Shirley was running with a group of friends in memory of her cousin Natalie Willis who died aged 49 after battling breast and bone cancer.

Shelley said: "It was terrible because it was just two weeks before her 50th birthday. We are doing our bit to try and stop cancer."

Donations are still being taken.