Hundreds took part in Sunday’s Chichester 10k but for one large group there was an extra motivation to reach the finish line.
More than 160 ran for Sarcoma UK on behalf of Mel de Lacy, a mum who has the extremely uncommon form of cancer and was there to start the race at Goodwood.
Mum-of-two Mel, from Chichester, said: “I was totally overwhelmed, quite an army turned out.
“A whole range took part, really good runners to those who had never run before.”
Mel’s husband Matt and daughter Lily were among the runners, as were her two young nieces from Wales.
“I had people come up and say to me ‘Mel you don’t know me but your story inspired me to run for you’, which was amazing,” she added.
Kerry Dutton, Mel’s friend from Chichester Triathlon Club, organised the runners on her behalf and said: “When I said to Mel I’d get some people together I never expected this many.
“We had at least 160 people all wearing ‘let me be me’, which is Mel’s slogan.
“Because she’s so amazing her story is touching so many people.”
The first one of Mel’s runners home was talented young Chichester runner Harry Leleu, who finished sixth overall.
Kerry said: “Harry messaged me afterwards to say ‘I’ll win a Chichester 10k one day and it will be dedicated to Mel for sure’ which was lovely.”
Mel’s condition is terminal and she doesn’t know how long she has left.
She is determined to raise awareness for Sarcoma UK and so far she has raised nearly £30,000 for the charity and is also raising money for Southampton Hospital Charity.
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