3 April 2020
By Elaine Murphy
‘The Race that Nearly Wasn’t’ Join the 2k a day lockdown challenge for Breakthrough Cancer Research
1 person dies every hour in Ireland from cancer – “the research we fund and the treatments we help find are in jeopardy without continuing support from the public”
Racing and walking events have been cancelled throughout Ireland as a result of COVID-19, which has had a detrimental effect on many charities reliant on these fundraisers, but you can now take part in a virtual race from your home for a good cause.
Breakthrough Cancer Research (Breakthrough) has launched a personal lockdown challenge called ‘The Race that Nearly Wasn’t’. To take part, you simply need to run, jog or walk 2k a day for 20 days, the equivalent of a marathon, before the end of April.
It’s an opportunity to help raise vital funds for pioneering cancer research, while you adhere to guidelines put in place to defeat the Coronavirus. 2k is also just 20 minutes a day, which meets the current recommended daily time for outdoor exercise.
Breakthrough is encouraging people to get creative with how they clock the kilometres – think laps of your garden or treks up and down your stairs if cocooning. If it is necessary to go out, the charity has stressed that people should stay strictly within the government’s 2k radius limit, and fully observe social distancing, keeping a minimum of 2 metres from others at all times.
Not only will this race encourage adults to keep active during this time, but it instils community spirit and is a great way to get kids excited about exercise and being out in the fresh air, as they can sign up and track their progress on theracethatnearlywasnt.ie website and app.
Breakthrough hopes to raise €40,000 for ground-breaking cancer research by encouraging 2000 people to sign up for just €20. The idea is that everyone who registers should nominate 5 other friends or colleagues to do so also.
Commenting, Eoghan O’Sullivan from Breakthrough Cancer Research said, “2020 has already been a year like no other. And never has the value and need for research, and the vulnerability of cancer patients, been felt so starkly.
“Breakthrough’s work is 100% funded through public donations and we have an ambitious target of €2 million for 2020. Our work, the research we fund, and the treatments we help find are in jeopardy without continuing support from the public.
“Unfortunately, the reality is that cancer continues to kill one person every hour in Ireland, every day, every year. This fundraiser will help to keep us on track to raise the essential money needed for cancer research to achieve survival for all cancers!
“So, we are encouraging everyone who was planning to run, jog or walk in a race for us – and others who have never even contemplated doing a charity race – to sign up for this virtual lockdown challenge today. You can do it at your own pace and each step will help save our much-needed cancer research programmes that would otherwise have been lost due to the many recent fundraising event cancellations. Life will return to normal eventually, so let’s make a better future today – let’s help make more cancer survivors.”
Cancer Survivor Lucy Fahy, said, “As someone who has had cancer, I’m in the high-risk category for COVID-19, so I had to postpone completion of my planned walk from West Cork to Dublin to raise funds for Breakthrough Cancer Research. Now I have to stay at home cocooning. It’s a lonely time, without much focus, so I love the idea of ‘The Race that Nearly Wasn’t. It’s something to plan for each day and it will ensure that I keep a focus on being healthy during this time. I’m lucky as I live in the countryside so keeping my social distance is easy for me anyway. Some days I’m going to do laps around the field next to my house, and if the weather is bad, I’ll clock the kilometres inside by walking lengths of the corridor.”
The Race that Nearly Wasn’t follows on from Breakthrough Cancer Research’s other innovative recent initiative, The Shop that Nearly Wasn’t, which saw the world’s first shop 100% stocked and staffed by cancer survivors open in Temple Bar.
Breakthrough has already supported 9 new treatments moving from the lab to clinical trial, and they have numerous more new treatments in the pipeline.
Sign up today for The Race that Nearly Wasn’t on www.theracethatnearlywasnt.ie, and nominate 5 people to join you. For more see www.breakthroughcancerresearch.ie