Cancer Research UK cancels all Race for Life events

Cancer Research UK has cancelled all of its Race for Life events across the UK this year as a result of the pandemic.

The charity has urged people to sign up to its virtual fundraising event, Race for Life at Home, instead to continue raising funds for the UK's largest charity.

CRUK had hoped to postpone events until the autumn, but said with uncertainty as to when mass participation events might be allowed, this is 'no longer possible'.

The charity's 5k, 10k and Pretty Muddy events raise millions of pounds every year, and have raised a total of £890m since they first began in 1994.

But this year, the events will be virtual, with the charity encouraging people to 'keep the spirit of Race for Life alive' by donating to to the cause of fundraising in any way they can from home.

The charity has suggested supporters choose from fundraising activities such as 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.

CRUK chief executive Michelle Mitchell apologised to participants and volunteers who hoped to join the event this year.

“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," she said.

"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."

The charity aims to bring the events back in 2021, but expects to see a 20-25% decline in fundraising income this financial year. It has already been forced to make cuts worth £44m.

"There can be no doubt that this global pandemic is causing huge strain on charities and Cancer Research UK is being hit hard.

“We’re urging people to sign up to Race for Life at Home and join our amazing Race for Life community.

"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.”

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