Well, it’s been a most excellent few days. Not only did we smash our weekend target of £100 by raising £160 by Sunday night, we have since received even more donations and smashed our first overall target of £500.
Oh. Em. Gee.
You guys are incredible. Seriously. Go and buy yourself a drink. Or a lollipop if you’re one of Sophie’s friends. I wasn’t expecting to hit target anywhere near this early, so thank you so much, you have all made me incredibly, incredibly happy.
Me right now.
I know that this weekend, it’s been all about the girls. Which is fair, since we’re so great. But for today, I want to talk about the boys, and how they can be a part of Race for Life.
Men aren’t allowed to run the Race, something which is often questiones, but which our participants tell us every year they don’t want to change. Sometimes it’s nice to have a ladies-only event. I think it rocks.
But the fact that you can’t run the Race doesn’t mean for a second that you can’t get involved in other ways. You can train with a lady, help fundraise, sponsor someone, or if you really want to be involved on the day, you can sign up to be one of our amazing volunteers!
This is Nick. (Handsome, aint he?) Nick has been volunteering with Race for Life for 5 years, and has helped out at almost 100 events.
Nick’s kind of a special case, in that he hadn’t really been affected by cancer when he first volunteered. He was just looking for something to do outside on a beautiful day, and figured it might as well be something worthwhile. But the amazing atmosphere at Race, the people you meet, the stories you hear, kept him coming back year after year:
“I can only say I was inspired when I was talking to staff members and volunteers who had been affected in some way. Then during the race, talking to survivors, women beating the various cancers and reading back signs. I was touched and something just changed, I changed! This click, this change that I had half way through the first volunteer day has now changed me in many ways. It has changed the way I think about me and others, my personality, people skills and more than I can list.”
Boys, you may not be able to run with us, but believe me when I say that you’re with us all the way. We’ll come to you for help, we’ll celebrate with you at the finish line and we’ll tell you our stories. I’m not exaggerating even a little bit when I say that without the incredible men who volunteer for us, our Race events literally couldn’t happen. What bigger role is there than that?
Race for Life isn’t just about women. Men get cancer too. Men lose their friends and their families to cancer. (And to dispel a common myth, the money raised by Race for Life does not go towards “women’s cancers”. Cancer Research UK funds research into all 200 types of cancer, and Race for Life is no exception.) So men, quite rightly, are more than welcome to be a part of the event, a part of the family. I know for a fact that I’d never get round the course if there weren’t people lining the sides, cheering me on. I can’t stress to you how important it is that men don’t feel separate from the Race for Life, how much we need you to support us. It is because of the kindness and generosity of men all over the country that Race for Life is the success story that it is.
And it can lead to amazing things! After volunteering for Race for Life, Nick went on to work in New York for four months, and later, to volunteer at the London Olympics. Being part of an event like this can inspire you to do things that you never thought you could do. Be amazing.
If you would like to find out more about volunteering at any of our Race for Life events, click here! Anyone can volunteer, no experience necessary, male or female. I was just concentrating on the guys because they can’t run.
Big thank you to Nick for letting me use his amazing story! Best of luck with this years events – he’s doing nine. If you have any questions for him, he can be found on Twitter at @nicksmithlive.