The Hawke's Bay Relay For Life is more than a race, it's a chance to celebrate the lives of those lost to a indiscriminate disease.

Hawke's Bay Cancer Society Manager Trudy Kirk said this years event will be bigger and better than ever.

More than 1500 people from around the region will descend on the

Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park for the 12th edition of the event.


"We will remember and fight back against cancer by participating in theworld's largest cancer engagementand fundraising activity," Ms Kirk said.

This year will be the first time the relay will last 12 hours, down on the previous year' 20 hour events.

Ms Kirk said she hoped this would attract more registrations from those who may not have been able to commit to an overnight stay last year.

The relay will begin with a moving opening ceremony, with cancer

survivors and caregivers leading the first lap of the event.

At dusk, a Candlelight Ceremony will be held to remember loved ones who have been affected by cancer.

Team members will continue to walk or run through the day and into the evening, symbolising the fact that cancer never sleeps.

"These ceremonies are just wonderful, it's a very special event."

Off the track will be food, live entertainment and activities.

"We have an all weather track and shelter just incase the weather decides to turn on us."

Ms Kirk said that the event is often described as a life-changing experience. "The relay is a team event to celebrate cancer survivors and caregivers, remember loved ones lost to cancer, and fight back against a disease that affects one in three New Zealanders."

Ms Kirk said that the event was first and foremost a fundraiser but also supporting people that have cancer, people who love someone who has cancer and honouring those who we have lost to cancer.

Property Brokers confirmed yesterday their 11th consecutive year as major sponsors for the event. Property Brokers regional manager Paul Whitaker said: "we are delighted to be once again major sponsors of this fantastic Hawke's Bay event and really like the fact that all money raised, stays within our communities." He also said all visitors this month can expect a "very purple and fun theme" at their local Property Brokers offices.

Hawke's Bay Today general manager Russell Broughton said Relay For Life was "an incredibly important event in our calendar".

"Cancer touches so many families and friends in our community and Relay For Life is a key way we can all show our support for the Cancer Society and raise desperately needed funds."