Tony Wade admits to being thrilled with how much the annual Women’s Cancer Challenge has grown.
The idea was borne with two primary objectives: to raise money in the fight against cancer in tribute to a colleague who lost his battle against the disease, and also to encourage more women to run.
Now a decade on and more than 500 women regularly pull on the trademark pink t-shirt and complete a fundraising 5K around the Lews Castle Grounds.
“When we started there were so few women running that Kirsty and I physically stopped our car one day when we saw a woman running to find out who she was,” recalled Tony.
“This, and when our dear colleague passed away we decided to try and do something to raise money for cancer, an illness which affects every family, and get more ladies running.”
The first Womens Cancer Challenge attracted 500 entrants, a figure which has remained steady throughout the years but on the 10th anniversary of the first, Tony has been pushing hard to double that with a 1,000 entrant target.
“If we had 1,000 runners it would be a tenth of the entire female population which we know is pretty impossible target to reach but we want to try,” he said.
To help with this we tried to encourage all taking part to bring a friend. If all 500 who took part in 2015 brought one person we would have 1,000.
“We have 300 signed up already but we do tend to have a lot more turn up on the day.
“Our online registration form is still open for anyone who wishes to do so and save themselves time on the morning.”
Tony, Kirsty and all involved with the Women’s Cancer Challenge are continually grateful for the continued support of a number of businesses and organisations without which the event would not be such a success.
From the Stornoway Trust and Lews Castle College to Grillburger and Tesco, the support for the event is wide reaching.
And this year Neil Ferguson of Ferguson’s Boiler Services have made a tremendously generous offer to donate £1 to the fundraising pot for every single entrant.
Among those who have already signed up for the vent are Carolyn and Connie Ferguson who are taking part in an event and charitable cause that is personally close to them.
“It costs us nothing to put this event on,” added Tony, “so every single penny raised goes towards the fight against cancer.
“It is open to all, for people who want to run it, walk or jog it. Our oldest entrant this year is 85-years-old so it shows anyone can take part.”
The Women’s Cancer Challenge takes place on Saturday, May 21, at Lews Castle College.
To sign up for the Womens Cancer Challenge online visit: website