I once again had the absolute pleasure of photographing the Ascot Relay for Life in Aid of Cancer Research UK. Working together with Neil Graham of Neil Graham Wedding Photography, we had the entire event covered from all angles once again, in a bid to give this outstanding charitable even the photographic coverage it deserves! We were both absolutely overjoyed and humbled to be asked back to capture the entire 24-hour relay once again for 2017.
10 Year Anniversary, Huge Spirits and Fundraising Milestones!
Now in its 10th year, the relay was on a high before it even started! As ever, walkers, caregivers, those who have won (and are winning) their fight against Cancer were all in buoyant moods. The Relay for Life is more than just an event to raise money to fight this absolutely horrible disease; it's a gathering of friends, families and colleagues, where stories are shared and hugs-a-plenty are exchanged! Everyone comes together for with the ultimate aim being to fight this disease with all they have!
This year the target was ambitious! With the magical £1million pound figure within touching distance, the relay teams dug deep, worked their fundraising charm and pushed hard to try and meet the target. As the event got underway on Saturday, we weren't sure if this was the year that seven figure target would be met. But, in true Relay for Life fashion, the festivities, activities and entertainment were amazing and relay teams all walked for 24hours non-stop around Royal Ascot Racecourse to fulfil their fundraising pledges.
Overnight, donations poured in (as the rain poured down). Neil and I returned mid-morning to find walkers aching, stiff and sore (with bed-head too, for those who were fortunate enough to get some sleep), but never the less, everyone was still smiling and still marching on around that track!
As noon rolled around, Rose Dalton called everyone to the stage to say thank you for their efforts. The volunteers and committee members were all thanks for their efforts too before the Mic was passed to David, who announced: "We've had the deadline extended to give us more time to try to meet our £1million pound tart...BUT THERE'S NO NEED! WE'VE DONE IT!!"
The gathered crowd erupted into cheers and applause, everyone hugged, kissed and were the ground not already totally wet owing to the rain that had hardly stopped that entire weekend, a number of tears shed would surely have been enough to make it wet!
The event, as is now the tradition, closed with one final lap from the committee, the volunteers, cancer survivors and caregivers and of course, the teams that had all worked so hard to raise such a magnificent amount of money.
Well done to everyone for all that you've done! I hope you enjoy the photographs! I'll see you all in 2018 where the push for £2million begins! :)