First mixed-gender St Albans Race for Life an 'amazing day'

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 August 2019

There were nearly 2,000 runners at St Albans Race for Life 2019. Picture: Annie Ashwell

There were nearly 2,000 runners at St Albans Race for Life 2019. Picture: Annie Ashwell

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A wave of pink-clad runners flooded to St Albans for an iconic 10K charity event.

Carmel’s husband Phil Bull, with HCT Carmel Superstar Team members Melanie Bedoya and Julie  McCall. Picture: HCTCarmel’s husband Phil Bull, with HCT Carmel Superstar Team members Melanie Bedoya and Julie McCall. Picture: HCT

Nearly 2,000 people took part in the Race for Life 2019 around Verulamium Park in July to raise more than £100,000 for Cancer Research UK.

It was the first year in more than a quarter of a century that both men and women could take part in the traditionally female-only fundraiser.

Area event manager Annie Ashwell said: "It was a really amazing day and it is always an amazing event in St Albans - it is lovely to see that sea of pink marching across Verulamium Park.

"It was the perfect day, a really good temperature for runners and the atmosphere was electric."

The HCT Carmel Superstar Team at St Albans Race for Life 2019. Picture: HCTThe HCT Carmel Superstar Team at St Albans Race for Life 2019. Picture: HCT

There was also a group who ran in tribute to a Harpenden woman who was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer last year.

Carmel Bull, who had worked at the Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT) as its communications manager for about a decade, died in May.

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Thirty seven of her colleagues got together to create the Carmel Superstar Team, raising £2,300 to buy a surprise gift for Carmel's family and donate to Cancer Research.

The team that made the St Albans Race for Life 2019 happen. Picture: Annie AshwellThe team that made the St Albans Race for Life 2019 happen. Picture: Annie Ashwell

Team member Melanie Bedoya said: "We are truly overwhelmed with the generosity of our HCT colleagues, families and friends who have supported us in the run up to the Race for Life.

"To have been able to raise such a large amount is absolutely amazing. This is testament to just how loved Carmel was."

Another team member, Julie McCall, added: "It was a really fun event with an amazing atmosphere. Our team showed fantastic spirit and supported and encouraged each other to run or walk the course and ultimately collect our winners' medals.

"To do this, as well as honour a wonderful, much missed friend and colleague, meant so much to all of us."

John Darin from Heart Hertfordshire, Lindsey Peter and area event manager Annie Ashwell revving the crowd up. Picture: Annie AshwellJohn Darin from Heart Hertfordshire, Lindsey Peter and area event manager Annie Ashwell revving the crowd up. Picture: Annie Ashwell

Carmel's husband Phil said: "Your generosity is honestly overwhelming, and I do not mean just financially but also your willingness to give up your own time in order to honour Carmel in the way that you have.

"While we miss Carmel so much, we draw a lot of comfort from knowing that she was loved and respected by so many people. That her own untimely death from cancer has inspired others to help fight this hideous disease is such fitting tribute to her."

Event manager Annie urged everyone to return their sponsorship and fundraising efforts to Cancer Research.

Donate at www.cancerresearchuk.org

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