Cancer Research UK cancels all 2020 Race for Life events

Runners set off at the start of the 5K Race for Life at Houghton Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners set off at the start of the 5K Race for Life at Houghton Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

All Race for Life events due to take place across Norfolk and the rest of the UK in 2020 have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Runners come in to finish the 5K Race for Life at Houghton Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners come in to finish the 5K Race for Life at Houghton Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Organisers Cancer Research UK said they took the “difficult decision” to call off all 400 of their races in order to protect public health and ensure the maintenance of social distancing measures.

Race for Life events were due to take place at the Norfolk Showground over the weekend of September 26-27, and at Houghton Hall in King’s Lynn on Saturday, September 19.

Participants who have already signed up will be contacted directly.

Cancer Research UK’s East of England spokesperson Patrick Keely said: “We know Race for Life is such a treasured part of the UK’s events calendar and it is with a heavy heart that for the first time in 27 years we have to announce that it won’t be taking place. The safety of our supporters, volunteers, suppliers and staff is however essential.

The warm up before the start of the 5K Race for Life at Houghton Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The warm up before the start of the 5K Race for Life at Houghton Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019


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“We hope the Race for Life event series will be back bigger and stronger than ever in 2021. In the meantime, we’d love to invite as many people as possible to join us by taking part in Race for Life at Home in these challenging times.”

The charity was able to spend almost £56million last year in the East of England on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research, but expects to see its fundraising income decline by up to 25pc in the next financial year as a direct result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

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In the absence of the physical events, Cancer Research UK are encouraging people to sign up for a Race for Life at Home challenge, in their gardens or their nearest green space.

Participants can create their own special challenges and encourage others to join in by sharing photos and videos on social media with the hashtag #RaceForLifeAtHome.

The warm up before the start of the 5K Race for Life at Houghton Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The warm up before the start of the 5K Race for Life at Houghton Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Mr Keely said: “We remain tirelessly committed to making progress for people affected by cancer but now more than ever, support from the public will be vital. We simply will not be able to continue funding our life-saving work without it.

“Since it began in 1994, Race for Life has raised over £890m for Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who has taken part and hope their support will continue.”

Action from the 5k and 10k Race for Life 2019, Norfolk Showground. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Action from the 5k and 10k Race for Life 2019, Norfolk Showground. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

The 5K Race for Life at Houghton Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The 5K Race for Life at Houghton Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Runners set off at the start of the 5K Race for Life at Houghton Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Runners set off at the start of the 5K Race for Life at Houghton Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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