THE NUMBER one spot and a chance to start this year’s iconic York Race for Life is up for grabs.

Organisers are encouraging women taking part in the 5k race on June 22 to share their stories and reasons for taking part in the event, which sets off from York Racecourse.

So far more than 1,100 people have signed up and entries will remain open until the week before the race or until the 2,100 capacity is filled.

Area event manager Philippa Sharpe, of Cancer Research UK, wants to encourage people who are taking part to share their stories and encourage others to have the confidence to do the same.

"When people taking part get together they realise they may have similar stories. Everyone has strong reasons for taking part and hearing about someone else's journey can be comforting for someone going through the same thing," she said.

The Number One race bib will be reserved for a runner who wants to share their story and will feel confident enough to give a small pep talk before the race.

Rachel Speight-McGregor, local fundraising manager for Cancer Research UK, has taken part in the Race for Life for more than 10 years and conducts the warm-up for the York race in her infamous piglet outfit.

She said: "I lost my aunt Janet, my granddad, my uncle Mike and my uncle Barry to cancer as well as quite a lot of close friends to cancer but I also run as a celebration for those that I know who have survived cancer.

“For me it's about raising as much money as possible as well. Cancer Research UK is the only cancer research charity which researches more than 200 types of cancer."

To sign up to the Race for Life visit To share your story with The Press email