POOLE'S second Race for Life of the day got underway this afternoon, with thousands of women doing their bit to beat cancer.

A sea of pink swept across Poole Park as runners, joggers and walkers made their way along the 5km course.

More than 2,000 people set-off at 11am for the first race of the day and 750 took part in the afternoon race at 2.30pm.

Elsa Charlwood,12, was first over the finishing line this morning with an impressive time of 20 minutes.

And 14-year-old Zoe Stiby finished first in this afternoon's race.

Elsa, who is currently ranked the second best runner in Dorset for the under 13 girls, said she was very proud.

The Castle Court School student added: “I was running for my grandad, Paul Frank, who I never got to meet.

“It was pretty hard because of the sun but I thought it was a nice route.”

George Smith from Poole, who was diagnosed with cancer three months ago, said she was determined to complete the course.

The 39-year-old, who ran alongside family friend Abbie Sewell, 17, and their pet dogs Milo and Skye, said it was the third time she had taken part.

She said: “I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do it. I’m going into hospital in a couple of weeks to have a tumour removed but I was determined to do it.

“We finished in 44 minutes which I was really pleased with.”

Event organiser Liz Frisby said Poole Race For Life 2014 had been a huge success.

“It’s been amazing,” she said.

“The Poole ladies always do brilliantly. They’re all dressed up, they look fab and they’ve all had a brilliant time.”

Mrs Frisby urged everyone who took part in today’s event to ensure they return their sponsorship money to Cancer Research UK.

She said: “One in three people don’t return their sponsorship money. It’s so important.

“It’s the thing that makes a massive difference. They can really think of themselves as someone who’s saving lives when they send that money back.”

Last week an army of mums, grandmothers, wives, sisters and daughters donned pink and raced along Bournemouth Seafront united in the mission to conquer cancer. 

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life events, in partnership with Tesco, raise millions of pounds every year to fund life-saving research.

All the details at raceforlife.org

We'll have galleries of pictures for the two events on Monday when pictures will be available to buy.