Who can take part?
Since it began in 1994, Race for Life has always been a women-only event organised by Cancer Research UK, and is our most successful fundraising event series, raising millions of pounds each year for our life-saving research into all cancers that affect both men and women. When we launched Race for Life, it was unique since it was a women-only event, and this aspect has really shaped how the series has grown from strength to strength each year.
Historically, our research has always shown us that the unique women only non-competitive atmosphere is what made Race for Life special, and kept our supporters coming back year after year to fundraise for Cancer Research UK. In the past, we’ve also undertaken a commercial assessment of the event to look at the implications and potential increase in both participation numbers and fundraising income by including men. Again, results showed that the strength and success of Race for Life was dependent on its appeal to women, and we would have risked losing a significant amount of income for the charity’s life-saving work if we changed it.
However, we are committed to reviewing our events regularly, and as part of our most recent research project, we spoke to many current and potential supporters across the UK to gain their thoughts on what the future of Race for Life should be. Most supporters now indicate that they would be motivated to take part in Race for Life as part of a mixed family and friends group, in the same non-competitive environment that our events are known and loved for. Based on this insight, we have taken the important step to welcome everybody to Race for Life in 2019. This decision represents a significant change for Race for Life, but it is our hope that it will give people the ability to come together with family and friends to beat cancer.