Fife park turns pink for Race for Life

Wendy McCormack, cancer survivor who started the Pretty Muddy event. Pic by Lesley Martin
Wendy McCormack, cancer survivor who started the Pretty Muddy event. Pic by Lesley Martin

Kirkcaldy’s Pretty Muddy and Race For Life events saw hundreds of women of all ages flocking to the Beveridge Park over the weekend to help beat cancer.

Among them was mum-of-two Wendy McCormack who paid tribute to the fitness pals who helped her fight back after cancer

Wendy was chosen as the VIP starter for the Race for Life’s 5km Pretty Muddy obstacle course which took place for the first time in Kirkcaldy on Saturday to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Wendy (41), who has overcome thyroid cancer, sounded an airhorn at Beveridge Park to set off a pink army of women from all walks of life on obstacles including an inflatable mud slide, space hopper and scramble net. Wendy who completed the course with pals from S24 Fitness Gym in the town was cheered on by her husband, Brian (42), and children Emily (16), and Samuel (10).

Wendy said: “Cancer has made me a stronger person.

“I’ll take on any challenge now. There’s no such thing as ‘I can’t do it’ anymore.

“Everyone goes through a battle in life but it’s how you fight your battle that counts. I’ve climbed Ben Nevis since overcoming cancer, go to the gym almost every day and I’m fitter now than I ever was before I got cancer.”

The diabetes specialist podiatrist with NHS Fife was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in September 2009. Treatment included surgery to remove her thyroid gland as well as radioactive iodine treatment which meant she had to keep at least four metres away from people for seven days as her sweat and urine was temporarily radioactive.

But the treatment worked and Wendy is now clear of cancer.

Since signing up for Slimming World in July 2015, a combination of healthy eating and exercise has seen 5ft 6in Wendy go from a size 18 to a size 10, dropping from 13 stone 11lb to a trim 10 stone 9lb.

Pretty Muddy kicked off two days of events for Cancer Research UK in Fife which were followed on Sunday June by more than 1000 people taking part in Race for Life Fife 5K and 10K events.

And there was also a new Race for Life Family 5K, allowing men to take part in the traditionally women-only events for the first time.

Inspirational Calum McKenzie who was diagnosed with cancer aged 20 teamed up with pals from Dunfermline rugby club to take part in the new event.

A team from Raith Rovers Football Club also took part.

Niall Russell, Raith Rovers media officer, said: “A key employee and personal friend of mind, Ally Gourlay, passed away in January 2016 from cancer after a brave fight with the illness.

“In my own family, my father, Robert Russell, passed away from cancer of the pancreas. This reinforces the need for greater awareness, research and funding into cancer.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, sponsored by ScottishPower, raises millions of pounds every year to help fund life-saving research.

Katy Palmer, Race For Life’s area events manager for Fife, said: “I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in Pretty Muddy and Race for Life Fife.

“The atmosphere was full of emotion with participants wearing signs on their backs declaring their reasons for taking part.

“Many will be remembering loved ones lost to cancer or celebrating the lives of people dear to them who have survived.”