MORE than 250 people took to the track at Yate Outdoor Sports Complex over the weekend to take part in an all-night fundraising event for Cancer Research UK.

Running, dancing, skipping and walking, one member of each of the 26 teams stayed on the athletics track at all times during the 24-hour Relay for Life event which started at lunchtime on Saturday.

Spurred on by supporters and live music, the teams raised more than £27,000 with more money still being donated.

Chairman of the Yate Relay for Life, and herself a cancer survivor, Helene Craddock said it had been the best event in its nine-year history.

“As of Sunday the total was at £27,000 with more money to come in until the middle of August,” she said.

“Yate Relay opened with a lap of honour by 20 cancer survivors who took to the track and were followed by an African drumming band, the African Sambistas. They did a great job of starting a fantastic relay which had a fantastic atmosphere.”

Off the track, this year’s event saw the addition of a relay hub which provided somewhere for people to meet, learn more about cancer and donate a candle bag. A cancer awareness clinic was held where participants and supporters could get any worrying moles checked out by a dermatologist.

There were also cake and jewellery stalls and a stage featuring live band including Cherry Red and DJ Dom Walker. A Great Relay Bake Off competition was judged by Cancer Research UK representative Kate Constance.

She said: “Everyone should be extremely proud to have raised such a figure.

“The money will fund even more trials so we can all beat our biggest enemy.”

An emotional Candle of Hope ceremony, where candles were lit in memory of lost loved ones, was attended by Yate mayor Cllr Wully Perks, who is being treated for leukaemia.

Mrs Craddock said: “I think this has been the best relay to date.

“I am extremely thankful to all of the participants for working hard to raise so much money. I can’t wait to reunite the committee to start organising Yate relay’s 10th birthday next year.”