KL.FM Off-Air, by Charles Dennett, July 26, 2016

Sports awards night at Kings Lynn Corn Exchange
Charles Dennett from KLFM ANL-160127-224023009

Sports awards night at Kings Lynn Corn Exchange Charles Dennett from KLFM ANL-160127-224023009

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Well, it looks like summer (or the four days of it we are bound to have) has arrived in West Norfolk.

From rain, and closed windows to keep out June draughts, to sweltering sunshine in the blink of an eye. What did we expect from British summer though? Really?

Spare a thought for the 1400 ladies who ran, walked, jogged and let’s face it, sweated their way around 5km at Houghton Hall last week, raising money for Cancer Research UK. KLFM were there, live on stage keeping everyone motivated and more importantly hydrated in what was some baking heat.

Si was around getting selfies, and I was tasked with geeing up the crowd. Race For Life is an amazing event to be involved with, and KLFM are always very flattered to be asked. It’s a blend of real joy and excitement and sad moments of reflection. In particular, one moment when all of the women taking part turned to read the words on the back of each runner – to see who they were running for – was very special. Also, when hands were raised to see who had and hadn’t been affected by cancer, there wasn’t a single person without a hand up.

The reflective moment gave way to sheer joy again as we got underway. The setting, if you’ve never been, is spectacular. Houghton Hall let Cancer Research UK carry out Race For Life for free – a very helpful move that keeps costs low. Right in line with one of Norfolk’s finest stately homes, 1400 heroic ladies set off under the hot sun. I was hot and bothered, with nothing to do, so goodness knows how they felt. The organisers actually made the decision to cancel ‘running’ – just jogging and walking was advised because of the sheer heat.

I have to say though that the set up and beginning of the night was special, but it was no match for the return of every single runner. I made my way down to the finishing line and, microphone in hand, welcomed back each incredible woman. The happiness at finishing was so special, and you could tell there was this indescribable buzz everywhere.

One of the people running was KLFM’s own Ashleigh Tuttle, who rather hot and sweaty, managed to raise £175 toward the overall target of £70,000. A staggering amount of money raised and donated by amazing local people – each with their own story to tell about how a terrible disease has affected them or their family.

A particularly poignant moment for me was when our final competitor came over the line. Twenty minutes behind everyone else, a group, pushing a wheelchair made it over the line, cheered on by all remaining spectators. It was so special. A huge thank you goes to the amazing St John’s Ambulance volunteers who were there and ready to deal with any problems that arose, and a massive well done goes to the organisers who once again held an incredible event. But more than anyone, the people who took part should be proud of what they’ve achieved – showing that West Norfolk is going to do its bit in kicking cancer’s butt.