Edinburgh Race for Life: what is it, when is it taking place and how to take part

Thousands of people will be limbering up to take part in the Edinburgh Hopetoun House Race For Life events this weekend, to help raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

Thursday, 9th May 2019, 3:21 pm
Thousands of people will be heading to Hopetoun House for this weekend's Race for Life.

If you’ve signed up, or if you still want to get involved, here’s everything you need to know.

What is Race for Life?

Established as a way to help fund vital life-saving work by Cancer Research UK, the Race for Life is a fundraiser that gives people of all ages the chance to show their support and make a difference.

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Every two minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer, and thanks to fundraising efforts like this, there is support for ground-breaking work to see more people surviving cancer.

Where and when is the next Edinburgh event?

The next Edinburgh Race for Life takes place on Sunday 12th May at 11am, with 5k and 10k events around Hopetoun House course. The starting point is Hopetoun House, South Queensferry, Edinburgh, EH30 9SL.

Can I still sign up?

Yes - organisers welcome the support of as many people as possible and while the earlier you start the more funds you can raise, it’s often possible to sign up on the day itself, depending on capacity. To sign up, go to the Race for Life website.

What is the course like?

The Hopetoun House course takes you through the estate surrounding the stately home, passing through wooded areas and immaculate gardens – you may even see the resident deer and red squirrels. The route is relatively flat and runs mostly on gravel and forestry paths, and has stunning views of the Queensferry Crossing over the Firth of Forth.

Is there an entry fee?

Yes - the entry fee covers the cost of organising the event. Tickets cost £14.99 for adults and young adults, while children over six enter for £10. There’s no registration needed for children aged six and under and they enter for free.

How long will the race take?

The race takes as long as it takes. A Race for Life 5k takes about an hour to complete, while most people taking part in the 10k will finish within two hours, but there's absolutely no pressure to finish within a certain timeframe.

How hard is it?

The events are suitable for everyone. There’s no pressure to jog or run, in fact you can go as slow as you like because everyone wins the Race for Life - except cancer. The 5k is suitable for everyone, and while 10k (or just over six miles) may sound a little daunting, it's ok when you know you can do it at your own pace.

Do I need to fundraise?

The aim of the event is to raise as much money as possible to help vital scientific research into cancer treatment, so everyone taking part is asked to set a fundraising target. It needn’t be daunting however. Competitors can raise as much or as little as they are able to, and the Race for Life website is full of fundraising ideas - from simple support forms to hosting fundraising events.

Do I need to train?

Not if you don’t want to. A 5k event is something most people will be able to cover at their own pace without any special preparation. If you're taking part in a 10k and you want to get into the spirit of things beforehand, you can start walking more in the run-up to your event with some simple lifestyle changes.

Try a short 15 minute walk every other day, or take the dog for longer walks, or get off the bus a stop or two early. Even walking around the shops counts.

And ahead of the day itself try to take it easy - give your body a chance to rest before the event.

How do I get there?

Event parking is available within the grounds of Hopetoun House. Please take direction from signage and stewards. To be as environmentally friendly as possible, runners are encouraged to car share where possible. There are no public transport links to Hopetoun House, but taxis can drop off at the main entrance to the estate.

Can I bring along supporters?

Yes - friends and family are welcome to come and support competitors. With many points around Hopetoun House within walking distance from the start and finish lines, they will be able to cheer you on as you run past.

What should I wear?

Having the right kit is important, but there are no rules. Think comfortable clothes that you will be happy to walk or jog in, and good trainers.

What else will I need to bring?

You should have printed out a backsign and race number, and should bring along safety pins to attach them. Details can be found on the website here.

And if you’ve forgotten you race number, don’t worry - visit the enquiries tent on the day for a new one.

Competitors are also being encouraged to bring along a reusable bottle of water, already filled, to help cut down on single-use plastic bottles.And if it’s a sunny day, don't forget your hat and sunscreen.

When is the next Race for Life event?

There are Race for Life events throughout the year, up and down the country. The next Edinburgh races will take place on 23rd June at Holyrood Park. You can find out more on the Race for Life website.