Family affair for Epsom Race for Life organiser from Wallington and her mum
It’s a family affair for the organiser of this weekend's hugely popular charity run, as she has volunteered to do the race with her mum since she was 14.
Sam Beare, 31, now manages Epsom’s Race for Life for Cancer Research UK, but started out going along to the races on Epsom Downs with her mother Pauline, helping her set up courses, marshal and support friends.
Her involvement became even more personal after both her parents fought different cancers, and she lost her godmother to the disease.
"My godmother was just so unlucky - it just really shows how it hits everyone," she said.
"You can raise money for so many things, but this is so important." The support she and her family received from the Race for Life volunteer community during these difficult times cemented her love for the event.
"I don’t think I could feel the same for another charity as I do for this one," she said.
Now, working as a race organiser, Ms Beare, who lives in Wallington, relies on her mother to be second-in-command - a working relationship perfected by over 15 years of volunteering together.
The two set-up and manage the course together, making sure everything runs smoothly for the thousands of women who participate.
"We’re a good little double act," said Ms Beare. "We’re on the same wavelength. She’s really proud of me, and this is something we can do together, something that’s still so important to her."
For Ms Beare and her family Race for Life is personal, it’s history, it’s what they’ve always done together.
But she has plenty to say about why others should get involved too.
"It’s like a girls’ day out, women coming together," she said.
"And class goes out the window - in workplace teams you have the senior manager running with the intern. It’s a massive moment of celebration and achievement in a safe environment. "It makes a difference - even raising £10 could help buy a few petri dishes for a scientist working on a cure."
"When there’s constantly people around you getting cancer it does make you think ‘who’s next?’, but I’m a proactive person who wants to do something," said Ms Beare.
"Race for Life is about doing something."
Last year 3,731 women raced at Epsom Downs, raising £266,664 for Cancer Research UK.
Race for Life 2014; Epsom Downs Racecourse, Epsom Downs, Epsom; June 29, 11am; to take part call 0845 600 6050 or visit raceforlife.cancerresearchuk.org/choose-your-event/epsom.html
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