Cancer doesn't sleep, and neither will hundreds of Northlanders taking part in Relay for Life this weekend.

The annual event - which will see teams walk, run and jog over an 18-hour period - is all about celebrating cancer survivors and remembering those who've lost their lives to cancer, while also raising money for the Cancer Society.

Tasha Judd, Cancer Society Northland community fundraiser, said there was a different atmosphere at the Relay for Life events.

"There's a certain atmosphere there which is really hard to put your finger on. It's not like any other event that you go to because everyone is there for such a common purpose and to make a difference," she said.


The Northland relay is being held at Trigg Sports Arena in Kensington tomorrow.

Judd said 62 cancer survivors have been invited as guests of honour and will be served afternoon tea.

The opening ceremony kicks off at 4pm and those cancer survivors will do a lap of honour.

"Then after that we kickstart and get into Relay for Life. It's 18 hours and it goes from 4 in the afternoon to 10 the following morning, and the reason for that is cancer doesn't sleep so for that period neither will we."

Judd said at 9pm a candlelight ceremony will be held to remember loved ones who lost their lives to cancer.

"It's a very moving ceremony and there's a lot of tears shed at that time. We get the opportunity to remember people and think about them when we don't usually have the chance to in our day-to-day lives."

The closing ceremony is at 10am, but from 9am to 10am all participants will be on the track and other community members are welcome to join in.

"That's our fight back hour. We will be joining together as a community to fight back against cancer."


More than 750 people have registered for the Northland relay and so far more than $82,000 has been raised - the goal is to pass $100,000.

"We're asking the community to get behind the teams and give them the support that they need to help them with their fundraising."

Judd said this year, in the lead up to the relay, a scavenger hunt for teams was organised and she is hoping to push that next year.

She said there were certain tasks teams had to do - like get a photo with Tania the mannequin who had been moved around town; and having a week off junk food.

Judd said Relay for Life is open to the public from 4pm to 10pm so can head down, make a koha if they like, and support whānau and friends.

For more information, including how to donate, visit