A SEA of pink descended onto the Rye in High Wycombe yesterday as record numbers took part in the annual Race for Life.

More than 2,500 entrants ran, jogged and walked their way around the 5km course to raise as much money as they could for Cancer Research UK.

It's the 20th time the event has been held nationwide and entrants to the Wycombe race had been set the challenge of raising £155,000 towards the fight against cancer.

The course had been redesigned from previous years meaning an extra 500 participants were allowed to take part compared to last year.

So many people took part that it took a full seven minutes for them all to pass the start point after the klaxon sounded to get the race underway.

First one home was Wycombe Phoenix runner Megan Styles, who completed the course in just 21m19s.

The 14-year-old from Tylers Green, who was raising money as a tribute to both of her grandfathers, Bob and Fred, said: "It hasn't sunk in that I've won. There's a lot of people, I wasn't expecting it.

"I wanted to support everyone who's been affected by cancer."

Miles Firth took family bragging rights as he was the second person to complete the circuit - beating sister Matilda, who finished fifth, and also beating his mum, aunt and cousin, who all took part.

The 12-year-old from Marlow finished the race within his target time of 22m26s and said: "I used to run a lot but that much now. I'll have to think about doing it again."

The Shiplake College pupil said: "I enjoyed it but it would have been better if it was cooler.

"It was nice people were cheering for me."

After finishing the race he turned to see his nine-year-old sister Matilda finish, pouring water over her head to cool her down before giving her a hug.

Amongst the other runners was Lanie Vaughan, a nurse from the Penn Surgery who was running her fifth Race for Life.

Each competitors' t shirt had space on the back to write the names of people they were running for, with Mrs Vaughan writing: "My patients and the whole human race".

She said: "I look after cancer patients - we are a whole community and you see what they go through."

Kathy Ayre and Amy Hodgin decided to make it trickier for themselves as they completed the course in their own three-legged race.

Amy, from High Wycombe, said at the end of the race: "It feels weird to have my own legs back again. I thought we wouldn't make it round three legged."

Kathy, also from High Wycombe, said: "We're not very good at running so we wanted to make an extra effort instead of just walking round."

She added: "Reading what everyone's got on their t shirts and hearing their stories as you go round, it makes you well up."

The pair were raising money in memory of the mother of one of Kathy's friends, and she said: "This is the sort of thing she'd have wanted to do, she did marathons. She'd be proud of us for doing it."

Simon Burley, event manager, said: "The atmosphere has been fantastic and the volunteers have been amazing. We've had some volunteers here since 6am and some will probably still be here at 3 or 4pm.

"I'd like to say a massive thank you to the people of High Wycombe who've come out to support the event and cheer everyone on."