The Hastings Race for Life that sparked a gender controversy

Ten years ago Race for Life attracted more than 1,700 women (and one man) to Alexandra Park, Hastings, all committed to raising money for Cancer Research UK.

The park was buzzing with excitement and anticipation on Sunday, July 15 2012, and despite rain in the morning, it remained dry for the race itself.

Women clad in pink outfits of all descriptions ran, jogged, or walked the 5K round the course, with plenty of feather boas to be seen, and many dogs also getting in on the fancy dress.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Event manager Suzi Dent said: “Race for Life in Hastings was a fantastic event and we are so very grateful to everyone who took part or supported our participants, as well as the wonderful volunteers who helped make the event happen.

15/7/12- Race for Life, Alexandra Park, Hastings.

Cancer Research UK doesn’t receive any Government funding for its ground-breaking work.

“So the money people in Hastings raise through Race for Life is crucial because it means we can go on supporting the pioneering work of doctors, nurses and scientists who are fighting cancer on all fronts.”

15/7/12- Race for Life, Alexandra Park, Hastings. Lisa Noon and race-winner "Eelean Dover"- aka Josh!

Organisers were hoping the event will raise £101,068 for the charity.

There was controversy on the finish line however, when the person in first place, dressed head to toe in a morph suit, was revealed to be a man.

In a letter to the Observer, he identified himself as 19-year-old Olympic torchbearer Joshua Noon, from Bexhill.

He said: “I wanted to explain that I didn’t run just to win, that just sort of happened and I knew I’d be disqualified when I was found out, that didn’t matter to me.

15/7/12- Race for Life, Alexandra Park, Hastings.

“I ran the Race for Life to remind people that it’s not just women that get cancer, not just women that can do something to help the cause, that men should be involved too and above all, raise a lot of money for a cause that means a lot to me, which I more than succeeded with.”

For the latest breaking news where you live in Sussex, follow us on Twitter @Sussex_Worldand like us on Facebook @SussexWorldUK

Suzi said: “The event isn’t just about women, but we have decided to keep it women only.

“I can understand why he wanted to take part, but there may have been a more appropriate way for him to do it.”

For information on returning sponsorship money, or to make a donation, visit