A QUARTER of a million people are expected to take to the track this November to walk 24 hours in a cancer patient's shoes.
The journey will be hot and tiring during the day, cold at night, and shine light at the start of the new day.
That is how Relay For Life committee member and marathon runner Richard Finlay has described a typical day for a cancer patient.
Cancer Council NSW's Relay For Life is set to land in Newcastle for its 11th year, bringing with it hope, courage and reflection.
The day traditionally includes runs, walks and family attractions such as band performances and trivia, but this year there is a new event.
Entrants will dress up as their favourite characters and hit the pavement at an unusual time for the inaugural midnight five-kilometre run.
The committee's attempt at organising a run last year failed logistically, so this year it has opted for a time when fewer people will be on the track.
"Why not hold the event at midnight?" Mr Finlay said.
"Cancer never sleeps."
The Newcastle insurance broker first joined the Relay For Life committee three years ago when he was touched by a colleague's battle with cancer.
Since then, his office has entered a corporate team in the event each year and has raised $29,000 to date.
Mr Finlay said people often confused Relay For Life as a race.
"It's a race for distance, not for time. The finish line for us is when we beat cancer."
■ Relay For Life, including the inaugural midnight five-kilometre run, starts on Saturday, November 2, 2pm at Hunter Sports Centre, Glendale. To register or donate, visit relay.cancercouncil.com.au. Registration costs $15 before October 15.