1. Race for Life
  2. About us
  3. About the Race for Life

About the Race for Life

What is the Race for Life?

The Race for Life

The Race for Life is Cancer Research UK’s biggest series of fundraising events. Taking place across the UK, the events include 5k and 10k routes for participants to walk, jog or run, as well as our Pretty Muddy obstacle events.

Race for Life started 26 years ago as a women-only event. The first event was held in Battersea, in 1994, where 750 participants raised £48,000. Since that point, Race for Life has grown into a series of hundreds of events across the country, raising nearly £900 million towards beating cancer over the last quarter of a century.

In 2019, for the first time, the Race for Life opened its doors to men to participate too, making it a truly inclusive event, giving people the chance to come together with their family and friends, and join the movement to beat cancer.

What are the events?

The Race for Life

When it was first launched, Race For Life began as a 5k run, but to satisfy growing demand over the following years, other events were added.

Throughout Race for Life's history, there have been marathons, half marathons and hikes, amongst other events. In 2019, the events include 5k and 10k routes for participants to complete however they like, whether that’s walking or jogging; and Pretty Muddy 5k and 10k obstacle courses, for participants to climb over, crawl under and charge through; as well as Pretty Muddy Kids events, so even the little ones can join in!

Find an event

Who can take part in the Race for Life?

The Race for Life

The Race for Life is open to everyone, no matter their fitness level, background, or gender.

Cancer doesn’t care who you are, so we want to make sure that everyone can join the Race for Life movement.

Our participants come from different backgrounds, with different stories, but with one thing in common - the determination to help beat cancer.

Can men take part in Race for Life?

Men taking part in Race for Life

Men have been able to take part in all of our Race for Life events since 2019. We have carried out extensive research into what our supporters want and expect from our events and men being able to take part was highlighted. This change has been warmly received by our supporters. We will now continue to keep Race for Life open to all.