NEARLY 300 pupils and teachers from a Basingstoke school have raised £5,000 for Cancer Research UK after they held their own Race for Life event.

Around 240 pupils from Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 at Fort Hill Community School, in Kenilworth Road, Winklebury, ran, jogged and walked the school’s 5km Race for Life event to raise money for the cancer charity.

Thirty members of staff also took up the challenge at the school.

A warm-up, which saw pupils and teachers take part in popular dance routines including the Macarena and the Cha Cha Slide, was held before the youngsters set off at around midday to music provided by school governor John Crawford.

Inspirational pupil Annabel Rand ran the race in memory of her mother Tracey Tempest, who lost her battle with breast cancer in March.

The 12-year-old, who lives with her stepfather, Stewart Tempest, in Vitellius Gardens, Rooksdown, Basingstoke, told The Gazette: “About two years ago, my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer and sadly she passed away in March.

“Today is a good way to raise money and remember her.” Annabel was awarded the “best dressed” prize for her outfit of a pink tutu and a pair of angel wings that carried a message for her mum reading: “My mum – a brilliant and inspirational woman who fought for two long years.”

Julia Bray, head of PE at the school, was full of |praise for Annabel, saying: “Her grades have gone higher and higher, and she has been absolutely brilliant.”

Miss Bray added: “We had a memory tree with the medals hanging on it, and when pupils crossed the line, they placed a memorial card on the tree and these will be displayed in the school. There were quite a few tearjerkers.”

First across the finish line was 12-year-old Joel Bagan, who completed the 5km course in just under 20 minutes. The first girl to complete the course was 13-year-old Year 8 student Nikita Morono who finished in 20 minutes.