BOURNEMOUTH seafront was a sea of pink as thousands took part in the Race for Life.

They came together with a common aim of eliminating the disease which has affected so many of their lives.

Cancer Research UK will benefit from their efforts and most had made a huge effort with their outfits as well as putting in the training needed for the 5k and 10k events.

Retired care home manager Christine Wood from Bournemouth was travelling in style on a bright pink mobility scooter.

Decked out in pink from her flamboyant hat to her wellies, Christine was taking part in memory of her daughter, Andrea, her ex-fiance and 10 neighbours and friends.

Madeleine Hills has taken part for the last 10 years and tried to pick a different theme to complement her outfit each year.

This year she and friend Julie Frampton had picked a bathroom theme and were wearing shower caps with plugs, chains and even rubber ducks round their necks.

A sign on Madeleine's back read: "I hope that one day cancer will just be a star sign."

There was a party atmosphere as the runners set off, most with messages written on their backs bearing tribute to someone affected by cancer.

This year, for the first time, men and children were also invited to take part. Many of the men were wearing pink, glitter and even tutus.

Money raised through Race for Life will help Cancer Research UK scientists find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease, helping save more lives.

Georgina Horne, Event Manager for Race for Life in Bournemouth, said: "Our events are fun, colourful, emotional and uplifting. You don’t need to be sporty to take part. You don’t have to train, and you certainly don’t need to compete against anyone else.

"By taking part and raising money, participants play a crucial role in helping to turn discoveries made in the lab into new, better treatments for patients throughout the UK. That’s why every person and every penny raised counts."

Half of people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives, but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.