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Girls Aloud take part in Race for Life in memory of Sarah Harding: ‘It doesn’t feel like she’s gone’

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Hundreds of people joined members of Girls Aloud to take part in a charity run in memory of late bandmate Sarah Harding.

Harding died aged 39 in September 2021, a year after revealing she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, which had spread to other parts of her body.

Fellow Girls Aloud stars Cheryl, Nicola Roberts, and Nadine Coyle took part in a 5km Race for Life in London’s Hyde Park on Sunday (24 July) in celebration of Harding’s life and to raise money for breast cancer.

The singers donned bright pink T-shirts baring the words “Race for Life” as they ran together through the park.

Kimberley Walsh took part in the race remotely and documented the run on Instagram.

The Race for Sarah took part in Hyde Park, London

(PA)

Speaking ahead of of the event, Cheryl said she “still can’t quite believe” that Harding is gone.

“To be honest, I’ve never experienced or anticipated this grief,” she said.

“You know, I’ve lost grandparents when I was younger and I lost a friend when I was younger but nothing like this, the feeling of shock and disbelief and it still lingers now to be honest. I still can’t quite believe it’s real.”

Coyle expressed a similar sentiment, stating that she had been in “denial” about Harding’s illness for a long time.

“This time last year we were actually hanging out,” she said, adding: “We all met up last year. She was there and we were talking and she didn’t even seem that sick.

“I was in denial the entire time and was the friend that was ‘Oh, it’s gonna be all right’, you know, I was completely in denial right up until the day she passed.”

Roberts recalled Harding’s “electric” energy, and said the group “doesn’t feel like Girls Aloud” without their bandmate.

“Sarah’s energy was like a firework so I feel like that huge difference in energy when she’s not there,” Roberts said.

“I think that for us right now, we don’t feel like Girls Aloud. We don’t feel like a band without Sarah. She, like I said just now, she was such a huge part of our energy that it doesn’t feel like that.”

The group’s fundraising efforts for breast cancer charities are set to conclude with a large gala dinner, which will take place later this year.

Earlier this week, Walsh told BBC Radio 2’s The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show that grieving Harding is a “daily challenge”.

“It’s crazy to me to think that it’s almost been a year. In September, it’s coming up to a year,” she said.

“It’s a daily challenge, let’s put it that way, and I think it throws you at the times that you don’t expect it.”

Sharing the news of Harding’s passing last year, her mother, Marie, said the singer did not want to be remembered by her illness.

“It meant the world to Sarah and it gave her great strength and comfort to know she was loved,” she wrote in a statement.

“I know she won’t want to be remembered for her fight against this terrible disease – she was a bright shining star and I hope that’s how she can be remembered instead.”

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