Cancer Research UK today announced that it has made the difficult decision to cancel Race for Life events across the UK this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The charity had hoped to postpone events until the autumn, but with uncertainty as to when mass participation events might be allowed this is no longer possible.
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, are a series of inspiring 5k, 10k and Pretty Muddy events, raises millions each year to help fund Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work. Since it began in 1994, over £890m has been raised to help fund research into all types of cancer.
To ensure vital research can continue and to keep the spirit of Race for Life alive this year, the charity is urging people to sign up to Race for Life at Home, a new campaign to unite the nation against cancer from home. Race for Life at Home encourages people to get involved in their own way, donating to the cause or fundraising where they can to help raise money for life-saving research. Supporters could choose to do a 5k or 10k run or walk or embark on a month-long fitness challenge. Entry is free and participants are encouraged to join the Race for Life Facebook community and share their challenges and activities on their own social media channels using the hashtag #RaceForLifeAtHome.
Michelle Mitchell, chief executive at Cancer Research UK, said: “Every year, our fantastic Race for Life participants and volunteers come together at events across the country and raise millions for our life-saving research. We’d made a great start to 2020, thousands of people were already signed up to take part and we were excited to kick off the season.
“COVID-19 has unfortunately impacted our plans and we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel our Race for Life events. We had hoped to postpone till autumn, but this is no longer possible as we can’t be certain when mass participation events can safely take place again. We’re sorry to our participants and volunteers who hoped to join in this year, but we hope they will understand that safety must be priority.
“Race for Life events will return in 2021, but we still need help today to raise money for life-saving research. We expect to see a 20 – 25 per cent decline in fundraising income this financial year and unfortunately we’ve already been forced to make £44m cuts to our research spend. There can be no doubt that this global pandemic is causing huge strain on charities and Cancer Research UK is being hit hard.
“Cancer hasn’t stopped and we’re determined to keep making progress for those affected, who need our support more than ever. We’re urging people to sign up to Race for Life at Home and join our amazing Race for Life community. From a 5k run or walk to a month-long fitness challenge, people can get creative and take part however they wish – just join in, have fun and stay safe. COVID-19 may have stopped our events this year but we won’t be defeated. By uniting together from home, we can still help beat cancer.”
Sign up for free to the Race for Life at Home at www.raceforlife.org.