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Women urged to lace up hiking boots and join fight against cancer on South Downs Way

Lace up your hiking boots and join the fight against cancer on a hike along the South Downs Way, women are being urged.

Cancer Research UK has launched the Race for Life Hike which will take place on Saturday 1 September. The event is returning to the South Downs, following an enthusiastic response to the inaugural event last year.

South Downs Way is one of just eight iconic locations in the UK which have been specially selected to hold Race for Life Hike events, which take place between May and September.

Race for Life Hike is a series of one-day, long-distance walking events open to women of all ages and abilities.

Hike along the beautiful, unspoilt Sussex coastline, taking in a stunning section of the South Downs Way as you walk from Brighton to Eastbourne, Helen Gardens. Enjoy incredible views over the white cliffs of Seven Sisters Country Park, and from the iconic Beachy Head.

Each Hike route is between 20 and 26 miles, involving a mix of challenging terrains, with an expected walking time of 8 to 12 hours. The routes are fully planned with maps provided at registration. Participants will also be treated to a hot meal, glass of bubbly and a medal at the finish line.

With each route offering striking scenery and beautiful views — from the coastline to the famous Brecon Beacons — it offers participants the chance to explore the great outdoors whilst raising money for a worthwhile cause.

Cancer Research UK is calling on women in the South-East to sign up and raise money that  will help Cancer Research UK scientists and doctors find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease, helping save more lives.

Helen Curtis, Cancer Research UK’s South Downs Way Hike Event Manager, said: “We’re so excited to be able to return to South Downs Way for the second time. It’s the perfect opportunity for local women to make the most of the stunning scenery right on their doorstep, and help raise money for vital cancer research at the same time.

“Participants will have access to training guidance and fundraising advice before the event, and there’ll be plenty of support points along the route offering drinks, snacks and lunch to help keep them going. The atmosphere on the day promises to be really special as women unite to in the fight against the disease.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring women-only series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy, Half Marathon and Hiking events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer sooner by funding crucial research.

One in two 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.

Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work relies on the public’s support. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the charity was able to spend over £35 million last year in the South-East on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research — helping more men, women and children survive the disease.

Helen added: “Race for Life Hike has all the fun and camaraderie of our much loved 5k, 10k and Pretty Muddy events. Whether they’re an experienced hiker or a novice rambler, by joining like-minded ladies committed to the cause, local women can unite against a disease that affects us all in some way.

“Every day, around 130 people are diagnosed with cancer in the South East*. That’s why we’re calling on women to sign up right now. Every step, every person and every penny raised makes a real difference in the fight against the disease.”

The entry fee for Race for Life Hike is £30. Women who sign up will be given a Race for Life Season Pass, offering free entry into unlimited 5k and 10k events to support their training.

Carl Eldridge
Carl Eldridge
Carl Eldridge is a hugely experienced journalist who has worked on local and national newspapers, magazines and written for websites over the past 30 years. He lives in Bognor Regis with his wife and son.