HUNDREDS of children made the most of the chance to get as muddy as possible with their parents cheering them on.

They were among 2,200 who took part in today's Race for Life Pretty Muddy event on York's Knavesmire.

Another 2,200 will run tomorrow in the more traditional 5K and 10K Race for Life.

Organisers expect the two-day event will raise at least £150,000 for Cancer Research UK.

So many children wanted the chance to complete the 10-obstacle 5K Race for Life Pretty Muddy course that organisers doubled the number of places.

After two waves of youngsters, the adults took their place for the rest of the day.

Today, the 10K Race for Life fun run will have a new route.

For the first time, men were allowed to line up alongside women on both days of the annual event.

Event organiser Katie Mathers said: "It makes it more of a family event this year. Everyone can take part."

Compared to the many other Race for Life events organised by the charity across the country, she singled York out for its community spirit and the way local organisations such as Park Run and Fit Mums support it with volunteers.

Among the runners in Pretty Muddy was a group of 14 adults and five children from Haxby, who were taking part to commemorate relatives and loved ones they had lost to cancer.

Among them was Jemma Jones who said she preferred the Pretty Muddy event because "It's messy."

She had come prepared with armloads of towels and changes of clothing.

Hospital staff member Janey Kemp said anyone could get cancer, or know someone who could get cancer.

"It's universal," she said. "This is doing something."

Children had to have an adult minder, often a parent running alongside them who did not go over, through or under the obstacles. Two of the obstacles were replaced with harder ones for the adults.