Pink Ladies’ Tractor Run is back!
(2021 – the year the Pink Ladies hit £3⁄4 million)
The iconic Pink Ladies’ Tractor Run is set to return in style as the group looks set to hit a fundraising total of more than £3⁄4 million.
With last year’s main event cancelled due to the pandemic, this year’s run will take place on Sunday 4th July with a convoy of around 112 tractors.
Since it began in 2004 the event has raised more than £734,000 in aid of Cancer Research UK’s breast cancer appeal and this year the Pink Ladies hope to smash through the £3⁄4 million mark.
Organised by Annie Chapman BEM, the annual run will wind its way through south Norfolk and north Suffolk on a route which starts at Thorpe Abbotts airfield.
It then heads through Thorpe Abbotts, Brockdish, Upper Weybread and Harleston for about 12.30pm, before stopping for lunch between 1pm and 3pm at Gawdy Hall Meadow, Redenhall.The route back to Thorpe Abbotts airfield heads to Pulham St. Mary, and then through Rushall, Langmere Green and back to the airfield for about 4.30pm.
Annie Chapman said: “It’s wonderful that this year’s event is going ahead, I’m just so pleased for the ladies who were so disappointed last year. Cancer Research UK has suffered so badly with events being cancelled and the efforts these ladies make for the charity are brilliant.
“I’ve got some very excited ladies I can tell you that – it makes all the hard work worthwhile.
“We believe in these ladies, and we would really like to get to £3⁄4 million this year. We’ve raised more than £734,000 so far and because it’s been given over a period of time it’s been a gradual build up – there’s an element of excitement because of the amount of money raised for this cause.
“Everybody knows somebody affected by this cancer, it’s at the forefront of everyone’s mind. It’s very scary and sadly we have lost a lot of ladies over the years to breast cancer and that’s why we keep going.
“The event is the most humbling experience, it really has been the best thing I’ve done in my life.”
Jane Broomhall, who lives near Long Stratton in south Norfolk, has taken part in 14 of the runs. She said: “When the first Pink Ladies’ Tractor Run was held in 2004, it was a unique opportunity to raise money for breast cancer research and, we thought, a one-off event; we all knew of someone who was receiving treatment.
“Over the years the Run has become an annual tribute by participants to both those we love who have survived but also to those ladies we have loved and lost – for me, my closest friend in 2015 and, just two weeks ago, another close friend. We can never do enough.”
This year more than 30 ladies new to the run will be taking part including the Beat Manager for South Norfolk rural crime, PC Sue Matthews – on a police tractor.
Debbie Adams, a Relationship Manager at Cancer Research UK, is also taking part for the first time. She said: “I am so excited to be taking part in the Pink Ladies’ Tractor Road Run for the first time. The Pink Ladies are an inspiration and I am so thrilled to be joining them and helping hit the £3⁄4 million milestone!
“Breast Cancer research is a cause close to my heart. My mum survived a breast cancer diagnosis six years ago due to early diagnosis and to research. I want to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK, so more women survive their diagnosis.”
In 2020 a smaller tractor run took place in September once the lifting of restrictions allowed for groups of up to 30 to meet.
Annie said: “We had to cancel last year’s event but in September we held a mini-run with 30 ladies socially distanced, people were brilliant and stood in groups watching, everyone was careful.
“Because we couldn’t do the run, I put a challenge out to the ladies to fundraise in different ways. A family from St Cross South Elmham organised their own tractor run for their family bubble and held a great big sale on a local meadow, another lady did a sponsored ride around her garden on a child’s pedal tractor, one group did a mini-run near Mendlesham and another group displayed their tractors in Aslacton.
“It was just brilliant, everyone was using their initiative, all-in-all we raised more than £28,000 and we didn’t expect to get anything after the main event was cancelled.
“As with any event of this size it cannot be achieved without the support of many people. I would like to express my thanks to all tractor owners, land-owners, the many marshals, collecting ladies and anyone else who helps to make this event happen, it’s a large team effort!”
A QR code will be available to scan on the collecting buckets for people to donate to the cause online alternatively, to make a donation, please visit https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/unite/pink-ladies-tractor-road-run-2021