Comment: Race for Life vital in fight against cancer

The Race for Life event was held in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow
The Race for Life event was held in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow
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ANYONE visiting Holyrood Park in Edinburgh yesterday would have come across a sea of pink, the garment colour of choice for the 5,600 women who gathered to take part in Race for Life to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

For many, it’s an emotional day. So many have had cancer themselves or are participating in memory or celebration of loved ones whose lives have been touched by the disease.

And while their reasons are moving and heartfelt, taking part in a 5K or 10K Race for Life is an uplifting and empowering experience. This is because this formidable army of ladies – and the men who support them – are committed to fighting cancer.

These ladies aren’t necessarily fit or fast – many chose to walk the 5K route – but their participation is undoubtedly helping to improve survival rates for cancer.

You see, without their generosity, Cancer Research UK would not be able to invest more than £30 million in Scotland each year on lifesaving research.

It is urgent work. Every hour, around three people in Scotland are diagnosed with cancer. Each year, this means around 29,000 people here will have to cope with the consequences of learning they have that devastating disease.

If you haven’t yet experienced the thrill of taking part in a Race for Life, there is still time with events in Kirkcaldy, Dundee and Aberdeen to come before the end of the month.

And this October, Race for Life Twilight is taking place for the first time in Scotland, when women and girls of all ages are being urged to light up the night at evening 5k events in Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

We are hugely grateful to the 35,000 women who have signed up for Race for Life events in 11 towns and cities across Scotland. Thanks to them – and to all our supporters – our scientists are able focus on bringing forward the day when all cancers are cured.

It’s only with the public’s help that we can make that day come sooner.

To find out how to enter a Race for Life event or return your sponsorship money, visit or by call 0845 600 6050.

• Susan Johnstone is Cancer Research UK’s national event manager for Race for Life in Scotland