Newest Review: ... that involves multiple virus attacks to trigger the killer 'C'. Problem is most cases are believed to be caused by bad diet and although... more
Racing for my Daddy!!
Cancer Research Race for Life
Member Name: Julie449
Cancer Research Race for Life
Advantages: For a great charity
Disadvantages: Very emotional day, pack was late
Race for life is the name for the fundraising events organised by British cancer charity 'Cancer Research UK'. These events take place annually in a large number of locations throughout the UK, using during May and the surrounding months. The events are for women only, and are either 5km or 10km races. You can walk, jog, run or even take your baby in a pushchair round the course. Women are encoraged to get sponsorship for taking part, raising both awareness and funds for the charity. There is a joinging fee of £14.99 for adults and £10 for children. The first race for life was back in 1994 and the events have grown and grown more and more every year.
I decided to take part in Race for life this year, as I had been saying for years I was going to give it a go, and after finding out my Dad had bladder cancer, decided there was no time like the present to join. I also managed to get my mum involved, this helped her have something to focus on as well as myself.
You can sign up for the race for life, either online or over the phone. I signed up online, which was really easy to do. A pack for your race is then sent out to you in the post.
The pack includes,
a letter thanking you for joining, which also has a little story from a woman fighting cancer.
your race for life details
a checklist for your race day
a sponsor form
a bag for clothes you can donate on the day
your race number
a pink back sign, where you can say who you are racing for
and some posters encouraging people to join you.
You can also print off extra sponorship forms online, where you can get even more fundraising tips.
You can also purchase various items on the website. such as t-shirts, water bottles and fun items such as tiaras to run in, helping to raise more for the charitry.
I was a bit unlucky in my experience, and even though I registered a good amount of time in advance, I didn't recieve my pack in time. This was dissappointing as I had ordered a t-shirt, jumper and a drinks bottle to race with. However I was able to get all the information for the day and sponsor forms online, I was also able to set up a just giving page online, where people could donate.
I must say that although this was unfortunate, it hasn't put me off, and after phoning up to find out what had happened to my pack/ order, I found the people to be very helpful, friendly and full of heartfelt apologies doing their best to explain what had happened.
I did get my pack in the end, even if it was 2 weeks after my event. It did come with a personal letter of apology, which explained there had been some technical problems around the time I ordered . I was advised that I could return the items I ordered as I had already run my race, but I decided to keep them. The clothes I ordered were of a good quality, and I use them to workout in and I can keep them to run in next time.
You are advised to get your event one hour before. As I hadn't received my pack, I was advised to get there a bit earlier and go to the information tent. Here I could get a race number and register, if you had your pack you didn't need to do this. This is also available to people who have entered the race late, and also don't have packs.
At the evnt, there are a number of facilities, which vary from race to race. At the race I took part in, there were toilet facilities (lots and lots of porta loos), a few information stands, a donation station (here you can donate clothes etc for the charity shops), and a stage with a host from a local radio station.
Before the race, there is lots going on, to get you geared up and ready to race. At my race there were a few speakers, that told their personal stories about their fights with cancer. I wasn't expecting to get so emontional, but the stories really hit you. All the racers are gathered round the stage together, and as all this is going on, you have the chance to read peoples back signs. This is a very emotional thing, as it makes you realise just how many people are effected by cancer, from people fighting, to those who we have lost to the family's around them.
After the speakers there was a singer, who came on to lift our spirits and get us geared up to race. Everyone joins in and no-one cares how silly we all look dancing.
After this before we started our race, we had a really good warm up workout, which included lots of aerobic exercises. I really enjoyed this, however there is a lot of people doing the same exercises at the same time and you are all croweded together so watch out for peoples feet!!
For my event, you could either start with the runners, walkers or with the pushchairs, each of which had their own seperate countdown. There is someone holding a flag for each and all you have to do is follow the flag of choice to the starting line. My course was laid out well, and all you had to do was follow the pink ribbon which went all the way round the course, or in my case the sea of pink women ahead of me.
The atmosphere is something that cannot be described. Its something you really need to experience yourself. The whole day is a rollercoaster of emontions. You get to dress up in silly outfits, most people usually wear something pink and get to feel like you are taking part in something that really is making a huge difference.
The race itself is for any level of fitness, I wouldn't say its a race for serious runners looking to get their best time, but for every woman who has been or knows someone effected by cancer. You can run as fast as you can or walk as slow as you like. It doesn't matter how long it takes, and there are people all the way along cheering you on, including people with giant hands how high 5 everyone as you past the 1km marker etc.
At the finish line, not only do you get that sense of achieving something but you also get a medal and a goody bag. The medals are of good quality, and they are something you can keep forever. My son was so chuffed with my medal, that we went round shouting my mummy won the race, even though I was far from first, I let him enjoy it. The goody bag, had a bottle of water, some coffee sachets a packet of sunbites crisps, a few coupons and various other leaflets.
There are 3 ways you can return your sponsor money, online, by phone, or by post.
Below are some examples of what the money can raise.
£20 could buy a range of essential equipment from petri dishes to microscope slides
£40 could help provide a cancer medicine textbook for one Cancer information nurses
£94 could enable one woman to take part in a clinical trial trying to improve survival for some women with breast cancer
3130 could help cover one day's cost of a cancer information nurse, talking to anyone with concerns about cancer on the phone.
Overall I found race for life a great experience that I will do again. It helps you realise there are so many people out there in the same boat. Its a fun thing to do and is for a great cause. Even though I had a few issues with getting my pack etc, this hasn't put me off doing it again, and I hope it doesn't put you off taking part next year. I can't encourage people to do it enough!!
Summary: Great experience for a great charity