WOMEN across East Lancashire are being invited to take part in a Race For Life to raise money for people living with cancer.

Tomorrow marks the launch of Blackburn's Race For Life -- one of the biggest fundraisers across the country.

The unique series of women-only 5km runs, sponsored by Tesco, will help raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK.

This year the race celebrates its tenth year and so far it has attracted more than 709,000 women to don their trainers to raise £35million for the charity.

Now organisers want to make this year's race the biggest and best yet and are looking to raise £17.5million through 130 races right across the country.

The Blackburn race kicks off from Witton Park on Wednesday, June 25, at 7pm.

Vicky Hope, race national events executive, said: "We are hoping to break all the records this year and we invite all women to take part.

"It really doesn't matter if you run or walk the race because the Race for Life is an event for everyone of any age and ability.

"We are hoping to see 300,000 participants across the UK this year. The Race for Life empowers women in the UK to join together and make a difference in the ongoing battle against cancer."

Last year 2,388 women took part in the Blackburn event raising £90,000 and organisers are hoping to topple the £100,000 mark this year.

The race was inspired by an American event called Race For a Cure and the English version was pioneered in 1994 with a single event in Battersea Park, London. It was an immediate success with 680 women taking part, raising a grand total of £36,000 for the charity.

There is a £7.50 entry fee (£4.50 for girls under 18) which ensures that every pound raised goes directly to the charity.

Call the hotline on 08705 134314 or visit the website at www.raceforlife.org for more information, or to enter the race. Entry forms are also available in Cancer Research UK shops, Tesco stores, leisure centres, libraries and GP surgeries.

The closing date for entries is June 18.

Cancer Research UK is the world's largest independent organisation dedicated to Cancer Research

- The charity is the leading funder of cancer research in universities, institutes and medical schools throughout the UK.

- More than £15 million has been spent this year alone on breast cancer research

- The annual research spend for the charity is £176 million.

- One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives and more than 130,000 women are diagnosed with the disease each year