THE Journal is calling starter's orders on the race to beat cancer and organisers are hoping this year's Race for Life will be the biggest and best yet.

The Imperial Cancer Research fund hopes the eighth year of the race will see 160,000 women, nationwide, get together to run and walk for charity.

This year's race, which will take place on Sunday May 20, has moved to Stratford racecourse to cope with the expected 1,700 racers after last year's track on the recreation ground was filled to bursting with teams and individuals.

The Race for Life is a national series of 5km walks and runs aiming to raise cash for research into cancers affecting women.

After beginning with one race in 1994, which featured just 680 participants, the event has grown from strength to strength with the number of racers and races more than doubling every year.

The event is now in its third year in Stratford and after a hugely successful first year, which featured 790 runners raising £35,000, organisers could not believe their eyes when the expected 1,000 women grew to 1,200 on the day.

"We were delighted with last year's efforts, they were unbelievable," said Race for Life press officer Kate Sarjent.

"But we need more people to get on board this year and join the fight against cancer."