A relay to help save lives

Hereford Times: The conga lap led by chairman Mick Fryer. The conga lap led by chairman Mick Fryer.

FESTIVITIES commenced on July 12 at 11.30am with a fun warm up and opening ceremony officiated by mayor of Presteigne and Norton, Colin Kirkby.

All the teams stood around the track and clapped for the relay's guests of honours completed the first lap. Approximately 70 cancer survivors and their care givers took part in the very moving 0.2 mile lap which some survivors found difficult.

The 16 teams comprising of 199 people then took to a lap showing their team banners (which were judged by the survivors) before they started the 24 hours walking with at least one team member needed on the track at all times showing that "cancer never sleeps"

Throughout the event the teams had set up their own stalls to aid their fund raising selling sweets and cakes to a penalty shoot out and splat the rat. The participants were also treated to regular entertainment including a jazz band and a memorable synchronised swimming display on grass.

As night begin to fall, the track was transformed with hundreds of candles burning inside 'candle of hope' bags which had been decorated and dedicated, either in memory of those who had been lost or in support of those who are fighting now or have done so in the past. At 10pm rector, Stephen Hollinghurst gave a very moving 'candle of hope ceremony.'

Throughout the night participants continued to walk the track while team colleagues slept in the tented areas before changing at regular intervals. Bacon sandwiches were served at first light.

As the event came to close, everyone joined in a conga lap after which everyone congregated around the stage for the closing ceremony. The event concluded with two laps, one being the final lap of 2014 Relay and the second being the first of the 2015 Relay.

The event raised almost £21,000, with more expected when outstanding monies are collected.

The committee would like to thank everyone involved in making the weekend such a success, including Radnor Hills Mineral Water,John Beddoes and East Radnor Leisure Centre and to all the volunteers and participants who gave up their time to help make the Mid Wales and Marches 'Relay For Life' so special.

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