Run, Cycle and Represent: 5 Ways to Help Beat Childhood Cancer
September 6th 2019
While summer is coming to an end, there’s reason to be excited about the autumn– this time of year, there’s no shortage of exciting charity runs, walks and challenges.
Every event you participate in will help raise money and awareness for a range of critical issues. And, if you’re already training for one event, why not put that hard work to use and sign up for a second, or even a third?
One meaningful idea is to support efforts around childhood cancer, in honour of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September. It’s an important cause – every day at least 12 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer. Here, we share some ideas for how to run, cycle, swim and hike to help raise awareness of childhood cancer this month and beyond.
1) Ride from London to Brighton: And enjoy great perks, like an unlimited buffet!
The London to Brighton Cycle Ride 2019 is, as its name implies, a lovely ride from Clapham Common to Brighton Seafront. The 55-mile ride takes place on Sunday 15 September. While you can sign up individually as a solo cyclist, you can also register as a group or through a charity. One suggestion is to ride for the leading young people’s charity, CLIC Sargent. When you do, you’ll feel good knowing your donations will support young people living with the overwhelming stress of cancer.
If you ride with CLIC Sargent, the charity will tailor unique fundraising and training support to you. For one all-inclusive fee of £55 (and raising £150 in sponsorship) you get entry, an unlimited buffet at the 30-mile mark, a celebratory drink at the end and support before and during the ride.
2) Run the Royal Parks Half Marathon: For all the personal training you need.
Looking for something local, in London? Consider a picturesque 13.1-mile route past iconic landmarks and city views, which is perfect for the autumn. Like the London to Brighton ride, you can choose to run with an established charity, such as CLIC Sargent or #TeamLegend for Teenage Cancer Trust.
To join the Teenage Cancer Trust team costs £30 and a minimum of £350 in donations. You’ll not only contribute to an important cause, but also have the support of an “army” of volunteers and enjoy an afternoon of food, festivities and music. The charity also provides a free running top and welcome pack! New to charity runs? Running with #TeamLegend might be an especially good option – Teenage Cancer Trust teamed up with healthy living experts, realbuzz, to offer specialized routes, guides and trainers.
3) Swim Serpentine: Dive into your first swim challenge.
This is the biggest open water swimming even in the country and this year will be the first Children with Cancer UK Swim Serpentine event. Secure your charity place and help raise money to support the work of this wonderful charity; your contributions will help improve survival rates for your cancer patients through research, awareness and family support.
If you’re new to swimming challenges, the Swim Serpentine can help you ease into the water with a half mile, one mile, two mile or six-mile swim. Some spots are sold out but if you already have a place, you can join the Children with Cancer UK team for no cost and raise what you can, with no minimum amount required. You’ll receive a fundraising pack, swimming training plans and a charity t-shirt.
4) Take on a Great Hike: For those that seek a breathtaking view.
Autumn is the perfect time for a hike in the UK, so why not hike for charity? One way to do so is to organise a Great Hike and raise money for Cancer Research UK. The charity is the largest cancer research organisation outside the US and funds scientists, doctors and nurses to help beat cancer.
To get started, sign up online to receive your fundraising pack and a special Giving Page. The date and route is entirely up to you! Then, tell your friends about it and get people to join your hike. You can also seek sponsorship to raise even more money. Cancer Research UK provides a helpful list of routes from Scafell Peak to something more local, along with a hiking checklist and fundraising tools.
5) Go your Own Way: Choose your own adventure and impact!
Whether you like to walk, run, cycle or swim, there are many opportunities to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer on your own routes, rules and schedule. Macmillan offers the option to go your own way and still help raise funds that provide support and information for cancer patients and their families.
One option is triathlons – you can browse a list of events and sign up for one, like the Royal Windsor Triathlon in 2020, which offers a stunning course in a historic location. You can sign up for your own place and then choose to join Team Macmillan. There’s no minimum fundraising amount. You’ll get a great fundraising pack, online training support and a customisable technical running vest or t-shirt.
If you aren’t able to participate in a challenge for any reason, there are other ways to support the cause. Consider volunteering your time. Many charities rely on large numbers of volunteers to pull off a successful event. Do you work for a local business or organisation that could provide an in-kind donation? Restaurants could donate food and beverages, local media outlets could offer press coverage and promotion and businesses of all types can offer basic supplies like tents, safety supplies and signage.
All of the events above also sell great merchandise through online shops. Consider purchasing meaningful souvenirs or gifts for a good cause; after all, the holidays will be here before we know it! For example, CLIC Sargent sells a Young Lives Trolley Coin keyring; Teenage Cancer Trust offers cool gear that appeals to a younger audience like concert t-shirts, posters and bags for life; and Macmillan offers a great coffee-inspired collection of gift like oven gloves, aprons and mugs.
During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, there are so many ways you can challenge yourself and support this critical cause. What other events or campaigns are you planning to participate in? Whether you run, ride, swim or shop, we hope you feel great about your choices and we’ll see you out there!