Race for Life desperate for women

Have any of you seen the latest ad from Cancer Research with the glorious Gloria Hunniford
pleaing ladies to enter Race for Life. Their ad makes this plea as numbers are down on
last year and without this, their charity and its work will suffer. They also said it will only
take an hour to walk.

Bit surprised this wonderful event is suffering and need more ladies.



  • to be honest im not actually surpised the event is suffering, the majority of the population would rather sit on their arse and watch the latest reality show.
    The rest of the population which are active I expect would look for a bigger challenge than walking 5k.
    I would think most people who would do it, would do so only once for the experience. The rest will still be sitting on their arses.. Perhaps they should open it up to men.

  • Perhaps they should open it to men, like the 10km races they do. They're running 5 and 10km races in Cheltenham this year, but who wants to do two laps of the racecourse? The fences are probably hard enough on the first lap.

    When Ms Hunniford says, "...and you can walk it in an hour", a little bit of me died.
  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Yeah, maybe the 3 mile sponsored walk has "jumped the shark" and they need to think of some fresh fund-raising initiatives.  I imagine a lot of people are all Race for Lifed out by now.

    How about women-only baked bean wrestling?  I'd pay to see that.

  • Some good points already made.

    If you basically walk round a park having a chat with a few mates then you aren't going to want to do that year after year, neither are your potential sponsors going to want to keep on stumping up money for something that's taking very little effort on your part. 

    If you are a runner then the least you want is a properly measured course with a clock at the finish (I actually ran one that only had one at the start - WTF?) 

    Aside from that.  In times of economic hardship charitable giving will suffer. It's inevitable. Apparently charities were struggling to fill places for the VLM too.

  • Does seem a shame, my wife did one last year - but now she has done it that is it for her, her friend also did the same one and she to has said she won't do another one - I imagine to a lot of woman do it once and that is it -

    From a family point of view we have been asked for sponsorship from my sons school (twice in the last 6 months) and also from Beavers - and in all three instances the kids have been given an inducement of a prize if they rais a certain amount of money.  We can't keep asking family and friends (who also have kids at School/Beavers) for money so I imagine a lot pf families are in similar situations.

  • I see more women out running than men nowadays - maybe doing the odd RFL has given them more confidence with their running ?

    I know numbers have been down at the Womens 10k in Liverpool lately - and I'm thinking that a hell of a lot of women have run that, realised that they don't need to be protected from the scary men and have just entered normal races anyway ?

    5k isnt much of a challenge really is it ?
  • I disagree. 5k is a pretty big challenge for a lot of people, as a visit to any parkrun will tell you. My wife is running one this year, and it's a big deal for her, having not been a runner and, ahem, not exactly having the most running friendly shape, lovely though she is. 10k would simply be too far for someone like her.
  • I wonder if it's the cost of entering it. I done it five times now (my local Race for Life is really well organised and great fun) but now my two daughters want to run it with me. The entry cost for the three of us would be £45 - that's a lot for a fun run even for such a good cause.

    On top of that there's finding the sponsorship and I feel I'm 'taxing' my family and friends for the Race for Life every year. I'm sure they've all heaved a sigh of relief knowing I'm not doing it this year. If the kids run it with me people feel obliged to sponsor!

    Instead I ran a charity 10k last week which cost £10 to enter, the associated 2.5k was £5 - again for a cancer charity - and they let men do it too.
  • Er guys race of life is sponsored to the max by Tesco’s and every time race for life gets mentioned there is always a big thing saying Tesco’s image Oh and every time Tesco’s gives race for life money it’s tax deductable. Nothing wrong with any of this and well done race for life for what they are doing. But if you where Tesco’s would you spend a lot of money on tv adverts or would you promote race for life whenever you can and go oh Tesco’s image


    In other news Tesco’s sponsor race for life and do rather well out of it in almost free advertising. Not a bad thing helps out a charity and get’s ladies who wouldn’t necessarily do stuff to get out there and run/walk and stuff.

    This post wasn’t sponsored by Tesco’s image I shop at the co-op normally other than milk and meat because they shaft farmers even worse than Tesco’s. For that’s its Morrison’s. I need to get out more. image
  • Everything is sponsored these days. I wonder how we got by in the old days.

    (This post was brought to you by Collins Dictionaries, the perfect fit)
  • Cake wrote (see)
    This post wasn’t sponsored by Tesco’s image I shop at the co-op normally other than milk and meat because they shaft farmers even worse than Tesco’s. For that’s its Morrison’s. I need to get out more. image


    Race for Life is what started me running, so I do have quite a soft spot for it. Having said that, I haven't entered again. I think it's pricey for a 5K, and I don't like harassing people for sponsorship too often - especially when it's got to the point where they know they wouldn't be sponsoring me for anything that's remotely a challenge (for me - 5K is plenty challenging for some people).

    I also think Gloria's (scripted) comment about walking it in an hour is just to try and encourage people for whom running it is unthinkable/unmanageable.

  • Tim R2-T2Tim R2-T2 ✭✭✭

    There are plenty of races that have prizes and that part of your entry fee goes towards the charity. I prefer to enter those. I have entered the Run10k twice but I think I have run out of sponsors now. They are nice because of the areas that the races are run in, mainly parkland.

    It would be good if they bumped up the entry fee with some of it going to CR and made it into two 'races' a competitive one and a non competitive (walking?) one. With results published and a measured course.

    Although I don't know if a competitive side would put of a lot of people. Most of the ladies I know who do the Race for Life walk and treat it as a nice long fundraising walk with friends taking about 40-50mins. One lady I know ran it full tilt and came third. They have all done it two years running now.

    Since running the 10k I've had two phone calls trying to get me to sign up to a direct debit. I'll probably run it again although I suspect it's a bit shorter than 10k it's a great atmosphere, a fairly challenging and very interesting route and I like to beat my time for that course.

  • Naah a Parkrun isnt a big deal Peter- even my lazy child does it and he doesn't run at all other than that.
  • That advert annoys me when Gloria Hunniford says 'less women' when it should be 'fewer women'.
  • i got into running via RFL too, and toyed with running it this year, but I'm reluctant to tap up people for sponsorship again, after doing so for last year's GNR.

    MrANTB's cousin is doing it again this year. She's a lazy mare (mid twenties and until a few months ago had never had a job). We sponsored her last year, I have no idea how she got on, or if she even did it. She's one of these girls who posts her every thought and action to facebook and other than to ask for sponsorship, I've seen no mention of training, running or any other exercise at all. A 5k is a challenge for a lot of people, it was more me when I did it, but I'm not parting with hard-earned cash when all someone is going to do it meander around a pretty park in a tutu.
  • R4L got me into running but I've done it about 4 times now & getting a bit bored.

    There are much better races out there for less money. I'm not super competitive but the more I race, the more I want to move away from fun runs. 

  • Tim R2-T2Tim R2-T2 ✭✭✭
    sarah the bookworm wrote (see)

    Race for Life is what started me running, so I do have quite a soft spot for it. Having said that, I haven't entered again. I think it's pricey for a 5K, and I don't like harassing people for sponsorship too often - especially when it's got to the point where they know they wouldn't be sponsoring me for anything that's remotely a challenge (for me - 5K is plenty challenging for some people).

    This is where they could try to make it competitive and you should get sponsored for every minute quicker than 25mins you do it in. That would make it a bit harder. 
  • I've seen some shocking statistics on the amount of sponsorship that actually gets given in - something like 50% of runners dont hand in their sponsor money ?
  • That's not necessarily people not handing the money in Cougie.  Some peeps pay the entry fee and don't raise money.  I've done it before on a charity race.
  • I did the R4L once, but don't intend to do it again. I disliked the horribly patronising tone of the whole thing (but accept that that is only my opinion and some people like it)
    I handed in the sponsor money, and seemed to get loads of mail wanting more. I know they're a charity, but it cost a lot to enter, you've had the money I raised, so quit hassling me for more.

    cougie - is that 50% of people who get sponsorship don't hand it in, or only 50% of entrants actually try and get sponsored - big difference between the two statements.
  • I got sponsorship for 2 of the times I did it but when I'm out running more then 5k on my training runs I don't think I can really go & pester people for money.

  • I did the RfL back in 2005.  I am still getting e-mails asking me for sponsorship (even though I rasied about £200 for them) and trying to get me to enter the next one.

    I have also marshalled it twice.  It was the most disorganised fiasco that I have ever been associated with which is why I won't marshal it again.

    I think that the Parkrun events are now the new way for runners to get into running.  RfL played it's part in the past, but it's got boring, and is no longer seen as a huge challenge because there is one in every town and anyone can do them.  Parkruns are still a challenge to those who want to run their first 5k, but I think that they offer more than the RfL does, in that they are also for experienced runners, and men.

    And Cancer Research don't spend their money wisely.  I heard that from someone who works for them and commented that the wastage is greater than in the public sector.

  • I do find the requesting sponsorship very off-putting. I know a couple of women at work who
    have run the local RFL for six years. Every year, they ask for sponsors. But year on year, they
    get less. Last year they raised about £150. The first year they raised nearly £1000.

    I know the local RFL have 25% less entrants than last year which sold out . The organiser
    blames the recession that many will not enter because money is tight. But she also believes
    the concept of RFL is nearing its ends because it cannot go on forever.
  • BDB - I think the entry fee just covers the costs of the race - so nothing goes to charity unless you pay in the sponsorship. I'm not sure the runners understand that.
  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    I don't know anyone who has done it who even attempted to try and raise any sponsorship and I know quite a few people that have done one. Of course some may have but didn't ask me to sponsor them but for most I know that they weren't going to attempt to raise any sponsorship.

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭

    I've had the same experiences as others - I paid heftily to enter, raised money, sent it off, then got repeated letters asking for the sponsorship I'd raised.  Given that charities are supposed to be very vigilant about recording donations, that's not good................

    I also have struggled with the concept of asking for sponsorship for a marathon, then a few months later asking for sponsorship for a 5K.  One year I ended up not getting "real" sponsorship, but sending a donation, to the 5k cost me £40!

    I admire what they have done for running generally, and I know that a lot of people do it in rememberance or thanks, and it means a lot to them, but I'd rather do something else now.

  • I did a R4L many years ago.  It cost £7.50 to enter, so it seems that it's doubled in about ten years!

    I didn't feel I could ask people to sponsor me for a 5k when I regularly ran a lot further, but kept getting hassled for my "sponsorship".

    I wrote back, saying that I'd paid my entry fee, and that was my contribution.  They told me that NONE of that went to the actual charity, but all went on organising the events.  I've never done one since.

    If they now want £15 entry, and STILL it all goes on organising the events, they're doing something wrong, especially if Tesco are sponsoring the events in any meaningful way.

  • @Wilkie - re. the entry fee only covering costs, that's disgraceful.
  • +1  It would be interesting to see a breakdown of the finances of an individual RfL.  I ran it once, many years ago, unsponsored.  My daughter walked it aged 4 with sponsorship in 2001.  Neither of us would do it again - we do parkrun instead
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