A SEA of glorious pink and purple engulfed Colchester today when thousands of inspirational runners took the fight to a devastating disease in memory of lost loved ones.

Race For Life took place in Lower Castle Park this morning in aid of Cancer Research UK and attracted more than 1,500 determined participants, all boasting varying degrees of running experience.

This year’s charity event, which usually only allows women to take part, also encouraged men and children to tackle the 5km route, all of which eagerly set off from the starting point at around 11am to jubilant cheers from spectators.

An atmosphere of joy, support, positivity and defiance carried the runners around the circuit before they triumphantly crossed the finish line to congratulatory greetings from proud family members and friends.

The annual fun-run is also a celebration of all the survivors who have defied adversity to defeat a disease that staggeringly claims the lives of more than 160,000 each year in the UK.

An estimated £68,000 has been raised as a result of the jogging jamboree, which will now help scientists continue their research into finding ways to prevent and treat cancer.

Emily Rowling, event manager for Race For Life in Colchester, said: “It has been fantastic today and there has been a really, really great atmosphere. Everyone seems to be so supportive of the charity and yeah, it’s just been a really great atmosphere.

“Events like this are so important to cancer research, because cancer touches us all in one way or another and it helps to raise funds for the vital science we do and also awareness, which will hopefully see it beaten sooner.”