1. ITV Report

Thousands run Race For Life in Birmingham and Coventry

Runners in Birmingham pounded Cannon Hill park and the surrounding roads in the sunshine Photo: ITV News Central

Thousands of women have taken part in Race For Life at Cannon Hill park in Birmingham and Stoneleigh park in Coventry today.

Before the race in Birmingham, participants enjoyed a Zumba style warm-up before hearing an inspirational speech from 21-year-old Ulrika Dandekar, known as Riya, from Solihull.

Riya Dandekar - who needs a stem cell transplant urgently - with her mum Ulrika after the Race for Life Credit: ITV News Central

Riya was diagnosed earlier this year with a rare blood cancer and urgently needs a stem cell transplant.

The former restaurant team leader used a wheelchair for the race joined by her family and friends.

It's been emotional, amazing to see the support as we were going round. It was lovely.

– Riya Dandekar

Karmen Freimuch, Riya's friend urged people to join the bone marrow register and said:

If only some of the people who heard Riya speak today or saw her during the race would get themselves tested to see if they are a match for her that would be amazing.

Every Race For Life participant wears the names of who they are running for on their back Credit: ITV News Central

Another group doing the 5 km course for Cancer Research in Birmingham were friends and colleagues of Jessica Evans from Oldbury who died of cervical cancer aged 22.

Team Jess at the finish line - with Marie Evans (Jess's mum) in green Credit: ITV News Central

Jessica's mother Marie Evans joined 'Team Jess' at the finish line and said her daughter would have been very proud of her friends.