Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life is set to return to the North East in June with events taking place in Sunderland, Newcastle and Gateshead.
The fundraising event aims to collect as much as possible for the charity Cancer Research UK, and has changed its methods of fundraising in the past few years by including muddy obstacle courses and children’s events in the hopes of raising interest and awareness for the cause.
This year, throughout January, the team from the Race for Life have been appealing on Twitter and via local radio stations such as Heart for people to enter these events, offering a reduced entry fee for a limited time.
Heather Buckle, has completed the Race for Life three times, not only for her dad and brother lost their battle with cancer, but because she survived her own struggle with breast cancer.
Heather said: “It’s as important to run these in the North East as anywhere else. It encourages everyone to participate, no matter how fit they are. One in every two of us will get cancer at some point so it’s important to support the work that goes on and keeps more of us alive.
“I am alive today because of research work. It helped to give me personalised treatment for my breast cancer. I owe my life to it.”
Since getting the all clear from her fight with cancer, Heather has completed the Race for Life in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and is keen to promote the importance of these events.
She continued: “The events are really well attended and good fun. I have done them with a group of netballers that I coach, which gives a sense of belonging to a family.”
Heather had no concern about the number of people attending the events across the North East, as she was certain that the entry price was fair, although she did say: “I think some people wait till there is an offer on and the price is reduced.”
The awareness of this offer will therefore hopefully gather more participants for this year’s set of events across the North East, as the reduced fees have been promoted across many different platforms to recruit more runners.
SR News also spoke to another Northeast resident about their participation in previous events organised by the Race for Life.
Tracy Burn, who is based in County Durham, has attended the Newcastle based event on two separate occasions: in both 2008 and 2009.
Tracy told SR News: “ My auntie was treated for cancer, so I thought it was a good cause. I did it with friends, there were 5 of us and we decided that doing the race would help raise funds for a good cause as well as motivating us to keep fit.”
Tracy’s main motivation for running the race initially and her continued support for the cause stems from her belief that “we need to find a cure for cancer”.
Much like Heather, Tracy agreed that the turnout for the events she participated in was overwhelming, which will hopefully be the case in the up and coming events across the North East this summer.
As well as her belief in the cause, Tracy told SR News that having a women-only event for Cancer Research was important to her, and she hopes that the tradition of this event continues.
She said: “It was amazing – a huge turnout – it was a very empowering experience, it made me feel strong.
“It was very emotional and sad to read the entrants’ t-shirts and see who they were running for. I am pleased it is an all-woman event because it gave the feeling of women coming together and feeling empowered, of doing some good and being appreciated.”
These two stories should serve as inspiration and motivation for anyone wishing to take part in the events coming up this year. The Race for life is an annual event, so there will be many more opportunities for women in the North East to take part in the region.
The Race for Life returns to Tyne and Wear this summer, with events beginning on June 2 in Sunderland and the ending with the final events in Newcastle on July 14.
Other North East venues for the event include Durham and Chester-Le-Street which have events until 14 September.
Further details about these events are available on the Race for Life website.
SR News contacted the national events manager, Susan Johnstone, but she was unavailable to comment.