They came, they saw, they got covered in mud – and in the process cleaned up for charity.
Back by popular demand, the Leeds Pretty Muddy event saw hundreds of women and girls descend on Temple Newsam Park for Cancer Research UK yesterday
Many began the day decked out in spotless bright pink t-shirts and fancy dress.
By the end of the 5km course, only the smiles were still gleaming as most ended up covered from head to toe in muck.
Nicki Embleton, of Cancer Research UK, said: “The girls of Leeds did us proud and got well and truly dirty.
“Despite being covered from head to toe in mud, everybody had big smiles on their faces and can be happy that they have made a real difference for people with cancer.”
The event, which was the third such fundraiser in Leeds and is part of the charity’s Race for Life series, involved women and girls aged over 13 warming up before tackling a course of more than half a dozen obstacles.
The course ended with an inflatable slide which plunged participants into a mud pit.
A similar event in May saw 5,400 people take part, including teams of friends, colleagues and even hen parties.
Among the 800 who completed the course yesterday were 11 women calling themselves the Dewsbury Divas, who train together at Dewsbury Sports Centre.
Sharon Whitford, 47, from Mirfield, was running in honour of a friend suffering from stomach cancer.
She said: “It was really good fun, and there was this undercurrent that we were all doing it for people who we’re close to. It was really well organised and everybody that was here was in such good spirits.”
Philippa Sharpe, Cancer Research UK’s Leeds event manager, said: “Women can complete the Pretty Muddy course at their own pace.
“It is great fun and the atmosphere is electric, but just as importantly, it’s about an army of women coming together in the fight against cancer.”