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Race for Life events return for 2021

Melanie May | 22 June 2021 | News

Mother and daughter participants in CRUK Race for Life, with messages on the back of their tshirts

The physical Race for Life series of events is to return this autumn, after all 400 across the UK were cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, run in partnership with Tesco, is back with a new campaign developed with Anomaly, which encourages people to run, walk or jog at their local event this autumn.

The campaign creative champions the idea that everyone can play their part in beating cancer. Aligning with Cancer Research UK’s brand response campaign, which launched earlier this month, it highlights that 1 in 2 of us will get cancer in our lifetime, but everyone can support the research that will beat it, with event participants helping to fund life-saving research.


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The campaign will be seen across TV, radio, video on demand, PR and social media. Media has been planned and bought by MediaCom. 

The 30” TV advert invites everyone to ‘Race for Life together again’ and features people affected by cancer, alongside participants at Race for Life events. It ends with powerful footage of the Race for Life back sign, where people show who they are taking part for.

There are over 400 events planned to take place between late August and October this year. Alongside the 5k, 10k and Pretty Muddy obstacle courses for adults and children, 3k routes are available for 2021. Covid-19 safety measures will be in place at all events, including splitting participants into waves to avoid congestion.

Philip Almond, Executive Director of Marketing, Fundraising and Engagement at Cancer Research UK, said:

“Covid-19 hit us hard last year and it was a devastating decision to cancel our events. But we’re back and ready to Race for Life again. The safety of our participants is our top priority, and we’ve developed ways to ensure our events can operate safely, following government guidelines. Our events might look a little different this year, but will still be a great experience for everyone taking part.


“This past year proves, more than any other, the value of investing in science and medical research, and what can be achieved with collective focus and collaboration. Just like science is our route out of the pandemic, science is our route to beating cancer. By doing Race for Life and raising money, people will be supporting our vital work to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and, ultimately, save more lives. We hope the new campaign demonstrates how everyone can be part of the solution and inspires people to sign up to their local Race for Life event.”

Since it began in 1994, Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, has raised over £896m for Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work. And, in 2021, Tesco is celebrating 20 years in partnership with Race for Life. During this time, 390,000 Tesco colleagues and customers have taken part in an event.

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