THOUSANDS of steps have been turned into thousands of pounds as determined walkers joined the fight against cancer.

Cancer Research UK held its first ever Relay for Life in East Lothian on Saturday and Sunday.

Sixteen teams combined to raise more than £50,000 for the charity’s research.

Elaine Lennon, chairwoman of the Dunbar Relay for Life committee, was delighted by the event’s success.

She said: “The fundraising total currently is at £54,712.

“Our target was £28,000 and every team that was involved – the 16 teams and 250 people – put every effort to get the money raised.

“It was mostly by doing fun things, afternoon teas, burlesque shows and lots of different events.

“They all made such an effort and there is still money trickling in.

“It is just amazing and there have been so many fabulous comments on Facebook about the event.”

The event began outside Hallhill Sports Centre at 10am on Saturday with the Survivors Lap, where the lives of those affected by cancer are honoured.

For the next 24 hours, team members took it in turn to continuously complete a circuit outside the sports centre.

As darkness fell, the Candle of Hope ceremony took place, with dedicated candles lit to honour everyone whose life had been touched by cancer.

Mrs Lennon, who grew up on Dunbar’s Cedar Street, thanked the town for getting behind the event.

She was previously diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy.

She said: “The biggest wow factor is that people did not know what we were talking about.

“It’s happened elsewhere but no one knew what we were trying to describe.

“They immediately got it and the community really did come together, as well as participants doing laps, themed laps, fancy dress laps, people came along and joined in.”

Relay for Life events have previously taken place throughout Scotland, including Arbroath and Dumfries, with an event in Peterhead this weekend.

Mrs Lennon was hopeful that the fundraiser could return to Dunbar and East Lothian in the future.

She said: “Hallhill have been obviously very generous and hosted it this year and I hope they will again.

“We have not had discussions about that yet but all the team members were saying they would do it again and get more people involved.”