Cancer Research UK has cancelled all Race for Life events across the UK this year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The charity had hoped to postpone events until the autumn, but has made the decision due to continuing uncertainty as to when mass participation events might again be able to take place.
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life is run in partnership with Tesco, and includes 5k, 10k and Pretty Muddy events. Since it began in 1994, over £890m has been raised to help fund research into all types of cancer.
In their place for this year, the charity has launched a new campaign, Race for Life at 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 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.
Cancer Research UK plans to restart Race for Life in 2021.
Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive at Cancer Research UK, said:
“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% 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.”
While many charities have cancelled events due to the pandemic, others, such as the London Marathon, rescheduled for 4 October, have been rescheduled for later in the year. However, with time ticking on, Cancer Research UK is not alone in its decision. Cardiff Half Marathon for one had also been rescheduled for 4 October, and this too will now not take place until next year.
I expect to see a wave of event postponements and cancellations over the next fortnight. It’s hard to see how any large scale events could take place this year.
We need announcements from organisers so charities can move to virtual and in aid of fundraising alternatives. https://t.co/dxUINXyW4o
— Matt Smith (@InnovationMatt) June 4, 2020