The annual Race for Life events in Stoke-on-Trent have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Organisers of the Cancer Research events – the Pretty Muddy event at Central Forest Country Park and the Race for Life 5k event at Trentham Gardens – say they have had to cancel the events to protect the country’s health as restrictions on mass gatherings caused by the COVID-19 pandemic continue.
Paula Young, Cancer Research UK spokesperson in the West Midlands, 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.
“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.
“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.”
Participants who have already signed up will be contacted directly by the charity which expects to see its fundraising income decline by up to 25 per cent in the next financial year.
The Race for Life Pretty Muddy event was due to be held in Central Forest Country Park, on Sunday, September 13 and the Race for Life 5k event at Trentham Gardens was due to take place on Saturday, October 10.
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For more information on how people can part in a race for life at home, take a look here.