WATCH: Cancer Research Race for Life stopped off in Preston as part of its 25 in 25 challenge

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This year’s crusade to beat cancer has begun, with Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life team celebrating quarter of a century by visiting all 25 race locations in the North West and North Wales – including Preston - in 25 hours.

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Charlotte Bailey, Sarah Hunter, Laura Cass and Polly O'Gorman launching this year's Race for Life at Moor Park, Preston

Charlotte Bailey, Sarah Hunter, Laura Cass and Polly O'Gorman launching this year's Race for Life at Moor Park, Preston

Race for Life started as one-off event in 1994 at London’s Battersea Park with 680 participants and since then more than nine million women have taken part, raising more than £820m to fund Cancer Research UK’s vital work.

The charity now has 58 race locations across the country.

Race for Life in Preston first started in 1996 and has grown to be a very successful event, last year raising more than £115,000.

Starting at Coniston, Cumbria, at 5am on Wednesday, the team travelled via Lancashire, Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire and finished the journey in Caernarfon in the early hours of Thursday morning, after visiting many North West locations including: Preston, Wigan, Wirral, and Oldham along the way.

Charlotte Bailey, Sarah Hunter, Laura Cass and Polly O'Gorman launching this year's Race for Life at Moor Park, Preston

Charlotte Bailey, Sarah Hunter, Laura Cass and Polly O'Gorman launching this year's Race for Life at Moor Park, Preston

Overall they visited 25 venues, covering 554 miles, completing the challenge in 20 hours and 27 minutes.

Sarah Hunter, Cancer Research UK’s North West event manager, said: “It certainly was a challenge but one we relished and united as a team to complete. “Travelling in a car for 25 hours isn’t always easy but working as a team created a really supportive atmosphere and the challenge enabled us to bring all of our venues together across the North West to help celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Race for Life – which is an incredible achievement for any event series.

“The challenge gave us an opportunity to show off our amazing venues across our region and to get more women signed up to our race for life events which raise vital money for life saving Cancer Research.”

Every day, more than 110 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West.

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, is an inspiring women-only series of 5k, 10k and Pretty Muddy events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer sooner by funding life-saving research. These will take place at Preston’s Moor Park on Saturday June 16 and Sunday June 17.

Sarah added: “Pledging to take part in Race for Life is a great incentive for women to pull on their trainers and join thousands of ladies across the UK who are coming together in the fight against cancer. Money raised is helping to drive research to help beat over 200 different types of cancer - so every person, step and penny raised makes a real difference.
“People can follow our journey on twitter using #RaceforLife25in25, and tell as many people as possible to sign up to Race for Life.”

To enter Race for Life today go to http://www.raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.