People across the region are being encouraged to 'look beyond lockdown' by making a date to join Cancer Research UK's Race for Life in Greater Manchester.
The charity's much-loved events are aiming to return to the area later in the year, if coronavirus restrictions allow, but with socially distanced measures to help keep participants safe. Anyone who signs up this January can claim a special 30 per cent off the entry fee by using the code JAN2021.
Covid-19 has caused a devastating loss of research funding, with Cancer Research UK predicting a staggering £300 million drop in income over the next three years which could put future medical breakthroughs at risk.
The charity is therefore calling on men, women and children to fight back against the devastating disease by entering a Race for Life event. Money raised will help scientists find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, helping to save more lives.
Every year around 42,300 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West and one in two people in the UK born after 1960 will get cancer in their lifetime.
The Race for Life events take place at Heaton Park on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 July, and at Alexandra Park, Oldham on Sunday 20 June and are open to people of all ages and abilities.
Sarah Hunter, Cancer Research UK’s Event Manager for Greater Manchester, said: “All 400 mass-participation Race for Life events across the UK were cancelled last year to protect the country’s health during the COVID-19 pandemic. So this year, more than ever, we need people to come together and help beat the disease.
“The truth is, COVID-19 has slowed us down. But we will never stop and we are absolutely determined to continue to create better cancer treatments for tomorrow.
“Every step our scientists take towards beating cancer relies on our supporters. Our Race for Life events are open to all and we’re sending a heart-felt message to everyone to come together in 2021. As always at our events, the health and safety of participants, staff and volunteers is our top priority. It may be that events look a little different this year but we are working proactively with our venues and suppliers to deliver a socially distanced but great experience.”
Participants will set off on the course either alone or in small socially distanced groups. Hand sanitiser will also be provided at all events with participants encouraged to use it before and after the event.
Sarah explained: “Although ‘Race’ features in the name, our events are not competitive. Instead, ‘the Race for Life’ is about our doctors, nurses and scientists working as hard and fast as possible to help more people survive.
“We’ll ask participants to respect social distancing before, during and after the event. It means that this year people should refrain from hugging others at the finish line. But we promise our events will remain fun, colourful, emotional and uplifting.
“Participants, all united in a common cause to beat cancer, take part at their own pace. For some people, the Race for Life is literally a walk in the park. Slow and steady still wins. For others, it’s a jog or a run. But what is for certain is we’re looking forward to welcoming people across Greater Manchester back.
“We hope that none of our Race for Life events are cancelled in 2021 and will do everything we can to keep people safe. If we do have to cancel any of our events we will let participants know as soon as possible and they will be entitled to a refund.”
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is a series of 3k, 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.
Money raised through Race for Life events funds world-class research to help beat 200 types of cancer – including bowel cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, testicular cancer, brain cancer, children’s cancers and leukaemia.
Sarah added: “The Race for Life is a powerful, inspirational movement which unites participants in Greater Manchester with people across the North West and the whole of the UK.
“People get together and remember loved ones lost, or celebrate the lives of those who have survived. At the same time, they are helping to make a difference to people with the disease, right now.
“Please go to the Race for Life website, choose an event, and sign up today.”
To enter, visit raceforlife.org.