Cancer Research UK is to “revamp” its flagship mass participation event series, Race for Life, with plans including to invite men to take part for the first time.
In an interview with Civil Society News, the charity’s chief executive Michelle Mitchell said that part of her plans this year are to “revamp and modernise” Race for Life.
Race for Life is entering its 26th year and is the UK’s largest mass participation fundraising event, but the total amount it raises has fallen over recent years.
In 2015 the event raised over £50m, but 2016 and 2017 saw figures of £38m and £32m, although the latter was partly affected by technology issues which delayed the launch.
In its accounts for the year ending March 2018, the charity said: “This year, due to some technology issues, we decided to delay the launch of the website until they were fixed, delaying online sign-ups for several weeks.
“This was disappointing, and resulted in a lower fundraising total than anticipated. However, we have worked hard to address these issues.”
400 events this year
CRUK has announced that people can sign-up for one of 400 Race for Life events this year, and that men can now join in.
This includes 5k and 10k runs, the obstacle course variant Pretty Muddy, and a version for children.
Since its launch, Race for Life has raised £860m for CRUK.
Sarah Pickersgill, head of the Race for Life, said: “A staggering one in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lives and while survival has doubled in the last forty years, we’re tirelessly working to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
“But we can only do this if people continue to support our life-saving work, so we’re urging people to help us by joining the Race for Life 2019 and raising vital money to beat cancer.
“Do it for your family or friends who have been affected. Do it for your family or friends who are sadly no longer here. Do it for those who are going through cancer right now. Do it for yourself.
“You don’t have to run or dress up and absolutely everyone is welcome – men, women, children and dogs. Just join the Race for Life, take part and make a difference. Raise £10 or £100 – every penny counts. Taking part in the Race for Life really is beating cancer.”