POOLE'S bumper Race for Life weekend got off to a flying start this morning when nearly 1,600 people got Pretty Muddy in the fight against cancer.

Around 1,000 women took part in the town's third annual Pretty Muddy event but this year there was the chance for children to join in the messy fun.


Roughly 600 youngsters donned fancy dress and embraced the mud and water at Baiter Park.

They grimaced and grinned as they tackled obstacles on the course before whizzing down a wet slide into a pool of mud.

Then came the turn of the adults who tackled the course with determination despite the cold wind and potential to be plastered in mud.

Spectator Susan Albutt said: "I have two daughters and two granddaughters taking part and it is great fun.

"They have been involved with Race for Life events for around seven years and they are taking part in memory of their Uncle John who died of cancer."

Nine-year-old Elorah Garland took part in the race for the first time with friends and family and said: "I enjoyed it but I'm a bit cold now."

Wendy Miller was watching her daughter, Katy Bird. She said: "Katy lost her uncle to cancer and we also know someone who is going through breast cancer treatment now. It's a great way to raise money."

The event was organised by Cancer Research UK (CRUK), which is also behind Poole's Race for Life event due to take place tomorrow.

It is estimated that around £130,000 will be raised in total in Poole this weekend.

Money raised through Race for Life helps CRUK to fund long-term research and pioneering trials, leading to new tests and kinder treatments which could save the lives of people across the South East and beyond.

Jenny Makin, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Dorset, said: "We’d like to thank every woman who laces up her trainers and takes her place at the start line at Race for Life because their participation and contribution is so important.

"One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives and we couldn’t continue our life-saving work without the support of the public. Money raised through Race for Life is helping to drive research to help beat over 200 different types of cancer - that’s why every person who crosses the finish line can make a real difference."