I don’t often do this but here’s a photo post about our life-affirming experience yesterday, completing a 3-mile charity run to raise funds for children’s cancer research with NECCR, the North of England Children’s Cancer Research fund.

Crossing the finish line with Caroline and three of her friends was an intensely proud and joyful moment for me.

Caroline’s indomitable spirit and sense of purpose on the day summed up the strength of character she exhibited during her entire cancer journey from diagnosis in March 2017 through remission in October 2017 to where she is today; monitored regularly but healthy and thriving beyond expectation.

Image of 5 hands all with fake tattoos saying Childrens Cancer Run

Team spirit!

The fact she can run and complete a 3-mile challenge is inspiration itself. It was hard to reconcile runner 4783’s energy bomb activity on Sunday with the cancer- and chemo-weakened child she was this time two years ago.

The pictures probably tell the story best.

Image of 4 girls with backs to camera and hands in air wearing blue T-shirts with race numbers on back

Children’s Cancer Run

We had a 9.15am start at Gosforth racecourse so Caroline, together with another little boy who’s currently fighting cancer, could officially start the day by sounding the air horn at 9.30 sharp to set the first runners on their way.

Image of group of runners cheering under inflatable arch with words NECCR Main Start written on

A photo for the press

Image of children in blue T-shirts with girl holidng red air horn to start charity run

Image of girl in blue T-shirt sounding red air horn with runners waiting to side

It was surprisingly entertaining, with Caroline’s friends in great glee that she sounded the horn for a few seconds longer than strictly necessary! Always the cheeky fun lover.

Image of 3 men on motobikes on road in woodland

Not your average race escort bikes!

We had a couple of hours before our race start time at noon and there was fairground fun to be had. I think the girls were really too big for the tiny teacups!

Image of two girls in blue T-shirts having fun on a fairground teacup ride

Image of 4 girls in blue race T-shirts with storm trooper, Chewbacca and alien holding gun to teddy's head

Chewbacca stole the show but there was a moment of tension when Greedo held a gun to Otto the bear‘s head…

Image of 4 girls and woman in blue T-shirts under orange and white NECCR banner at Gosforth racecourse

Image of man woman and child with bear wearing black and blue Childrens Cancer Run T-Shirts

We met up with the rest of Caroline’s school who were doing both the 3-mile run and the mini mile for the youngsters. I think 20-odd pupils and siblings took part, plus parents. A brilliant turn out.

Image of 6 girls in blue Childrens Cancer Run T-shirts

Excitement mounts for our 12 noon start time

Image of 4 smiling girls wearing blue Childrens Cancer Run T-shirts in race starting position down on one knee
And they’re off!

Gosforth racecourse turned out to be surprisingly beautiful to run around, with grassy paths, a woodland area and lots of open space. I’ve never done a fun run like this before so it was an eye opener for me.

Image of 4 girls in blue T-shirts and man in black running along racetrack for Childrens Cancer Run

Image of 4 girls cartwheeling on grass running racetrack with trees either side

Caroline had promised there would be cartwheels…

Image of 4 girls in blue race T-shirts holding hands running through woods with other runners in front
Encouraging each other
Image of 4 girls and a womand in blue Childrens Cancer Run T-shirts at 2-mile selfie stop point in woods
The 2-mile selfie station
Image of 4 girls in blue Childrens Cancer Run T-shirts running beside metal railing with finish line in background
Finish line in sight

The girls were tired but happy and extremely proud of themselves to have completed this challenge, all with virtually no prior training.

Image of 4 girls in blue T-shirts at finish line of Childrens Cancer Run

Finishers!

Image of man in black running gear with girl in blue T-shirt being filmed by TV camerman
For a change it was Wild Daddy in the limelight
Image of 4 girls in blue cancer run T-shirts taking a selfie with medals
The obligatory medal selfie!

It was a fantastic day, one we wouldn’t have considered possible two years ago. One of the girls who struggled with a stitch kept saying that it was all for cancer and she used the thought to keep going when she struggled.

Everyone who took part in the run deserves to be extremely proud of themselves, and Caroliney’s strength especially made my heart explode. What a warrior!

You can still donate to Caroline’s Just Giving account. So far she’s raised over £1800 and would love to reach £2000.

Image of 4 girls a woman and man in Childrens Cancer Run T-shirts all holding up yellow finishers meadals

THANK YOU to everyone who has already donated. Every penny towards research into childhood cancer is a penny well spent.

Find out more about the NECCR fund here.

Read more of Caroline’s cancer journey here.

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