The Sun's Deborah James on Lorraine in her underwear to promote body confidence

THE Sun's Deborah James was among dozens of women who ran the annual Vitality London 10,000 race in her underwear to promote body confidence.

Deborah said she was spurred on to complete the final kilometre after another runner said her friend Rachael Bland, who lost her cancer fight last year, "would be proud".

The 37-year-old, who has stage 4 bowel cancer, appeared on ITV's Lorraine this morning where she revealed the race had been "so emotional".

She added: "It's messages from people who have stopped us on the course today and said thank you – it spurs me on and keeps me ticking, one step at a time."

Taking to Instagram Stories with Lauren Mahon afterwards, Deborah said: "We got a bit emosh because a lady said to us at about 9k that Rachel would be really proud and at that point we just lost it."

Rachael was the brainchild of the inspirational BBC podcast which she hosted with her two best friends, Sun columnist Deborah and Lauren, who bravely battled cancer too.

The mum-of-one, from Cheshire, was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in November 2016 and lost her fight in September last year.

Inspirational team

They teamed up with a tribe of famous faces, including Loose Women's Andrea McLean and author Giovanna Fletcher, as part of the Celebrate You body confidence campaign.

Nearly 1,000 women were inspired to join their team to encourage others to be proud of what their bodies can do, whatever their shape.

The campaign was kicked off by journalist Bryony Gordon and mental health advocate Jada Sezer, who ran the Virgin Money London Marathon in bra and pants last year.

Deborah met with some of the women she had personally inspired before the race.

One said: "I saw you on Lorraine and I thought I'm going to take a note of your name and I'm so inspired."

Another said to Deborah: "I read about you and I couldn't stop thinking about what you are doing and what you've been through."

The women ran through the streets of London, past St Paul's Cathedral and Big Ben, in just a pair of black undies and a matching bra.

Kind messages

Deborah crossed the finished line holding hands with Lauren at 2 hours 36 minutes.

She tearfully watched a video message from Teresa Whitfield, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer after hearing about Deborah's journey.

She said: "I wanted to say thank you, I watched you guys late last year on  Lorraine. A lot of the things I wondered if that's me too.

"I'm now just done the first stage of my chemo and I wanted to say well done, congratulations, thanks ever so much and you really are a true inspiration."

The message left Deborah in tears as she thanked people for their support.

More than 19,000 runners finished the Vitality London 10,000 – making it the biggest yet.

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, who opened the event, said: “It has been an amazing day. Everybody was just loving it.

"The weather was great, the numbers were huge and everyone was going for their goals.

“What better setting is there than this, finishing in front of Buckingham Palace? It’s all so inspiring.”


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