Tag Archives: Honesty

WILL RACE FOR LIFE SPONSORS DO THE MORAL AND ETHICAL THING?

In May we reported how Race for Life creator Jim Cowan had written to Cancer Research UK’s Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, asking her to make the organisation’s in-house inquiry into the origins of the Race for Life public.

Why? Because it was a flawed, some may say dishonest, inquiry with no purpose other than to avoid facing up to facts. To continue the cover up of the truth.

The ‘inquiry’ avoided evidence and ducked talking to witnesses before reaching the (predictable) conclusion that, “the origins of the Race for Life are not clear.”

As regular visitors to the Race 4 Truth will know, the evidence clearly shows the opposite, it clearly shows that the creator of the Race for Life was Jim Cowan. And with the testimony of witnesses who were involved at the time, that evidence only becomes stronger.

We support Jim Cowan in asking that the ‘inquiry’ be made public. We ask Michelle Mitchell a very simple question; if the inquiry was thorough and conducted with integrity, what have you got to hide? What is it you fear from public scrutiny?

Unfortunately (predictably) since Jim’s letter and our article and social media posts reporting it, the silence has been deafening. No reply, no comment, and certainly no signs that Mitchell will do the decent thing and open the ‘inquiry’ to the public eye. It is clear, as we know, that there is something amiss here, something less than honest about the so-called inquiry.

Now, following over two months of silence, Jim Cowan has written three new open letters (*transcript below). This time he has written to the bosses of the Race for Life’s corporate partners Tesco, Scottish Power and Global (who own Heart).

In his letters he asks them a simple question:

“I am asking you to consider what asking Cancer Research UK to open their inquiry to public scrutiny would say about your corporate and brand values? And, I would ask you to consider what not doing so would infer about those same values?”

He goes on:

“You could play a part in righting this wrong of over a quarter of a century. Or you could turn a blind eye and let it continue.

There are many reasons to open this inquiry to public scrutiny, none of them bad. I can only think of one reason not to, and that is to keep the truth buried.

I hope I can put faith in your values to do the right thing.”

The responses from Ken Murphy (Tesco), Keith Anderson (Scottish Power) and Ashley Tabor-King (Global) will be telling. Will they lean on Mitchell, Cancer Research UK, and Race for Life to do the right thing? Or will they open up questions about the morals, ethics and values of their own brands by staying silent?

To date, the silence from Cancer Research UK has been deafening. Will the corporate supporters of the Race for Life do the right thing or allow the silence to continue?

#TheSilenceIsDeafening

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

*The full transcript of Jim Cowan’s open letter to the bosses of Tesco, Scottish Power and Heart:

On 17th May I emailed you with regard an open letter I had sent to Michelle Mitchell, the Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, on 10th May. A copy of that letter was attached to my email.

The letter concerned Cancer Research UK’s claim that they had held an inquiry into the origins of the Race for Life, an inquiry which concluded, “the origins of the Race for Life are not clear.”

I had written to Ms Mitchell in the hope that she would open the findings of this inquiry to public scrutiny. As the person who created the Race for Life, and I can provide evidence to support this fact. I can also provide witnesses including one who was employed by Imperial Cancer Research Fund (Cancer Research UK’s predecessor) at the time. Despite being aware of this, the inquiry staged by Cancer Research UK did not speak to me or the witnesses.

There is a history of over 25 years of Cancer Research UK and, before them, the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, burying the truth. Indeed, as I discovered years later, it was an Imperial Cancer Research Fund employee who originally stole the idea from me and went on to fraudulently claim it as her own. Cancer Research UK have never addressed this matter.

The truth does not waver, it does not change its story. It has no need to, it is the truth.

Since creating the Race for Life in 1993 and launching it in 1994 my story has not wavered. It has had no need to; it is the truth.

Conversely, Cancer Research UK have peddled a number of different stories. Possibly, at the time, they believed each one to be true. And yet, their story has kept changing, citing a number of different origins until now, without even considering all of the available evidence, they claim the event’s origins are not clear.

I suggest to you that they know this not to be true, that they are deliberately erasing me from the history of the event. What their reason may be, I do not know. Possibly to avoid having to admit they have had it wrong for so many years? Possibly to cover up their employees lies? The reason is not important, what is important is that they are doing it.

In the past they have stated that they have no documents from the creation of the event. I do have documents. I also have witnesses. What kind of inquiry does not seek to speak to key witnesses before coming to a conclusion? Might I suggest, the kind of inquiry which has no interest in the truth?

I therefore write to you to ask you to use your influence with Cancer Research UK, as one of the partners to the Race for Life, to ask that they open up their so-called inquiry to public scrutiny, to ultimately recognise me as the person who created the Race for Life.

I am asking you to consider what asking Cancer Research UK to open their inquiry to public scrutiny would say about your corporate and brand values? And, I would ask you to consider what not doing so would infer about those same values?

You could play a part in righting this wrong of over a quarter of a century. Or you could turn a blind eye and let it continue. 

There are many reasons to open this inquiry to public scrutiny, none of them bad. I can only think of one reason not to, and that is to keep the truth buried.

I hope I can put faith in your values to do the right thing.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Cowan.

Creator of the Race for Life.

BIZARRE! RACE FOR LIFE LIKES RACE 4 TRUTH TWEET ABOUT EMPLOYEE WHO STOLE RACE FOR LIFE!

For anyone who has been following the Race 4 Truth, it will not come as news that Cancer Research UK has buried its head in the sand when it comes to acknowledging the truth about the origins of the Race for Life.

Despite all of the evidence proving that Jim Cowan created the event, they prefer silence. They prefer a public display of low integrity over doing the right thing and admitting they got it wrong, over admitting they were duped by the lies of Jill MacRae, a former employee.

Race 4 Truth recently tweeted a photograph of MacRae with the text; “The face of a fraudster. Read how Cancer Research UK employee Jill MacRae repeated her fraudulent claim of creating the Race for Life in an interview with the website Informed Edinburgh.” The tweet included a link to the article (which can be read here). 

Surprisingly, and somewhat bizarrely, the Race for Life decided to like our tweet.

We can only wonder at what it was they liked?

Possibly they liked the tweet in recognition of their former employees dishonesty and subsequent lies? Possibly they liked the suggestion that MacRae’s false claim is fraudulent given she undoubtedly used it on her CV to gain paid employment? Possibly they actually like the way they have treated Jim Cowan as a consequence of MacRae’s lies and their own refusal to recognise the facts?

We won’t be holding our breath waiting for an answer. Cancer Research UK have already demonstrated that their sole tactic on addressing the truth about the Race for Life is to stay silent, head buried in the sand, hoping the facts will go away and leave them alone. And it doesn’t take a genius to work out why that is; because anything they could say will only incriminate them further, will only further expose the lies.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind!

THE SILENCE FROM CANCER RESEARCH UK IS DEAFENING!

Join us in our #TheSilenceIsDeafening social media campaign and help get Race for Life creator Jim Cowan the recognition and justice he deserves.

On 10th May Race for Life creator, Jim Cowan, wrote an open letter to Cancer Research UK’s Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, as well as to every single member of CRUK’s Board of Trustees.

The purpose of his letter was a simple one, that CRUK should make their claimed inquiry into the origins of the Race for Life public. After all, if the inquiry was genuine, if it looked at all of the available facts, what have they got to hide?

One month later, the silence from Cancer Research UK has been both deafening and telling.

Jim’s letter has received neither acknowledgement nor reply which suggests heavily that CRUK do fear public scrutiny of their so-called inquiry. 

Regular visitors to Race 4 Truth will know why. It is because the evidence is overpowering, it leaves no doubt at all that the creator of the Race for Life is Jim Cowan.

And Jim had gone further even than the evidence shared on this site by offering to put CRUK in contact with witnesses who could testify to the actual events of 1993 and 1994 when Jim had the original idea for the Race for Life and went on to launch it.

Cancer Research UK have previously admitted that they have no documents from that period. Jim does but is being ignored. The silence is deafening.

The questions need to be asked; what evidence exactly did CRUK examine in their so-called inquiry? What did they deliberately ignore? And, why the fear of making it public? Of course, we know the answer to that second question.

Now, Race 4 Truth have begun a campaign, using the hashtag #TheSilenceIsDeafening. The idea behind the campaign is simple; we have been, and will continue to, Tweet and use other social media to contact the media, celebrities, charity organisations, and others to ask the questions; Why won’t CRUK reply? What have they got to hide?

And we will continue the campaign into the future by sharing articles and evidence from our articles page with those key players, all using #TheSilenceIsDeafening.

We will continue to do so until CRUK admit to their 25+ year cover up of the origins of the event and formally recognise Jim for his incredible creation, first dreamed up as a tribute to his father who was sadly taken by cancer in 1993.

Why not join us? Using #TheSilenceIsDeafening hashtag use your own social media to ask the questions of the media, journalists, CRUK supporting celebrities, and others: What have Cancer Research UK got to hide? And why won’t they reply to Jim’s open letter?

#TheSilenceIsDeafening

Race For Life Creator Sends Open Letter to CRUK CEO

Jim Cowan, the man who created the Race for Life, has written an open letter to Cancer Research UK’s CEO, Michelle Mitchell.

The letter is in response to the charity’s claims that it has run an inquiry into the origins of the Race for Life and the finding that, “the origins of the Race for Life are not clear.”

Race 4 Truth has previously shared articles on the inquiry highlighting its flaws, which included not even bothering to talk to witnesses, one of whom was working at (what was then called) the Imperial Cancer Research Fund at the time, and of ignoring documents on their own letterhead which confirm Jim as the event’s creator.

We share Jim’s letter here in the hope that, at last, justice will be done and he will receive the recognition he so rightly deserves, albeit a quarter of a century late.

CANCER RESEARCH UK SHOULD MAKE INQUIRY PUBLIC IF THEY HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE

On 23rd December last year, we told you about Cancer Research UK’s (CRUK) astonishing new claim that they had held an inquiry into the origins of the Race for Life and, having “explored all reasonable lines of enquiry” they had been “unable to find any solid evidence which supports his (Jim Cowan’s) claim to be the sole originator of Race for Life.

At the time we described it as a ridiculous claim. Why?
– Because CRUK had failed to contact Jim Cowan to ascertain what evidence he might hold.
– Because CRUK had failed to consult numerous witnesses who would tell them the origins of the event.
– Because they had excluded numerous external parties. 
– Because CRUK had previously admitted to having no documentation from the early years of Race for Life.

Given the above ‘oversights’ it is difficult to see how the inquiry, if it even happened, could have been anything other than lip-service aimed at continuing the charity’s long-term denial of the facts aimed at justifying their continued refusal to give Jim Cowan the recognition he rightly deserves.

Despite the experience of over 25 years telling him it would probably be a waste of time, Jim Cowan decided to contact CRUK. Either, by some miracle, they would finally accept the facts so evident to everyone else who has seen them or, more likely, the claimed enquiry would be exposed as yet another work of fiction among so many others. Fiction created with the sole aim of covering up the truth.

On 23rd December Jim emailed CRUK sharing links to numerous documents via Google Drive. These documents are all in the public domain, free to view on this site and included:
– His 1993 letter to the charity proposing and outlining the event.
– A letter on the charity’s letterhead, signed by their then Head of Events which clearly stated that he had “come up with the original idea.”
– A letter from their own Jill Baker following on from Jim’s proposal and confirming their initial meeting.
– Evidence of the many various incorrect claims as to the origins of the event made by CRUK and their staff over the years.
– Evidence exposing Jill MacRae’s (Jill Baker’s married name) fraudulent claims to being the creator of the event.
– He also informed CRUK that he could produce witnesses who were present in 1993 and 1994 whose evidence would support the facts he was presenting.

The first reply, dated 18th January, was simply to say that CRUK could not access the files on the Google Drive.

Jim replied to this email providing further links adding that he was cynical about the inquiry as it had never been mentioned in any previous correspondence. He wondered:
– If it had taken place prior to that correspondence, why was the inquiry not reopened in light of Jim’s offer to meet and share documentary evidence (in 2017 and 2019), evidence any inquiry could not have seen?
– If after that correspondence, why was Jim excluded?

On 8th February, CRUK eventually replied, ignoring these questions and simply stating that having reviewed the documents Jim had provided they had not changed their view that the origins of the Race for Life were “not clear.” 

On 9th February Jim replied thanking CRUK for their “not unexpected” reply. He stated that it was; “disappointing, but not surprising, that CRUK shows no interest in talking to any of the witnesses who will support my position; something which only strengthens the belief that the aim of the charity’s investigation was not to uncover the truth but to continue denying it.

He went on; “Beyond speaking to witnesses, might I suggest that if the charity is not acting dishonestly and without integrity, one of the ways to evidence this would be by sharing your investigation, including all of the ‘evidence’ considered? Indeed, any enquiry worth its salt would seek to have full transparency so as not to undermine its findings.

He then added; “I would be very interested to discover what ‘evidence’ might exist that trumps a clear statement from your own Head of Events stating that the original idea was mine. And if anyone is accusing me of being dishonest in my claim, it is a cornerstone of any worthwhile justice system that I be allowed to defend myself against my accuser.

He then finished saying; “I look forward, albeit without much hope, to receiving a copy of your investigation.

Over three weeks later, the silence from CRUK is deafening.

In the absence of a response the only conclusion that can be drawn is that if an inquiry really did take place, it only served one purpose; to continue the cover up and to continue denying Jim the rightful and deserved recognition for being the person who created the Race for Life.

Here at Race 4 Truth we call on Cancer Research UK to open up their so-called ‘inquiry’ to public scrutiny. If it was genuine, what could they possibly have to hide? What could they possibly stand to lose? All without asking why any genuine inquiry wouldn’t seek independence from interested parties, CRUK included?

The truth, as we know, is consistent. And ever since 1993 when he first came up with the idea, Jim Cowan’s version of events has not altered. It has remained consistent, backed by evidence.

Lies, on the other hand, are rarely consistent. They alter to fit need. And, over the last 25+ years, CRUK and their employees have told a range of different tales. They have lacked any consistency and, conveniently, have no records of the early years of Race for Life.

Consistency supported by evidence versus inconsistency supported by lies, hypocrisy, and a refusal to face public scrutiny. Which do you believe?

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

CANCER RESEARCH UK’S RIDICULOUS NEW RACE FOR LIFE CLAIM

After over a quarter of a century of false claims, lies, hypocrisy, and covering for fraud, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) are now peddling a ridiculous new claim in order to prevent giving Jim Cowan the recognition due for creating the Race for Life.

In an email CRUK’s Director of Fundraising, Simon Ledsham, has made the claim that they had, “explored all reasonable lines of enquiry” and had been “unable to find any solid evidence which supports his Jim Cowan’s claim to be the sole originator of Race for Life.” The claim was repeated a couple of weeks later by CRUK’s Senior Press Officer Thea MacLeod-Hall in another email.

It is a ridiculous claim.

CRUK have previously stated that they have no documentation from the early years of the Race for Life. It is therefore unclear how their investigation was carried out or who was included.

If an internal enquiry, then it was flawed by having no documentation to refer to, and by excluding those, such as Jim, who could provide valuable evidence.

If an enquiry that included external parties, why was Jim not included? After all, they are aware that he does have copies of original documentation, including his own proposal letter and correspondence from their own staff. In addition, they are also aware that Jim could put them in touch with a number of witnesses who could verify the origins of the event. They should also be aware that Jim had even offered to sit down with Michelle Mitchell, CRUK’s CEO, with this evidence as recently as 2017; an offer which was ignored.

Therefore, the only conclusion possible is that their ‘enquiry’ had no intention of uncovering the truth. Their investigation was merely a smoke screen designed to give the impression of having tried to establish the facts while keeping heads firmly stuck in the sand and deliberately missing an opportunity to correct over 25 years of lies. And a crude tool with which to deliberately mislead anyone making enquires.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

HOW THE RACE FOR LIFE CREATOR CONTINUED RAISING MILLIONS FOR CHARITIES DESPITE APPALLING TREATMENT BY CANCER RESEARCH UK

Having created the Race for Life only to see a member of staff at Cancer Research UK steal the idea and for the charity’s leadership to support a campaign of lies about the event’s origins (despite being offered evidence as to their claims being fiction), you could be forgiven for thinking that person would want nothing more to do with the charity sector.

Fortunately for a number of other charities that was not the case and Jim Cowan, the man who created the Race for Life, has successfully helped to raise £millions for other causes over the intervening years.

The sheer volume of fundraising events that Jim has been behind is too large to list them all here, the following being just a sample.

For example Jim turned the Poppy Run into a national series of events taking place in all four home countries as well as being the only fun run to be officially staged in Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. And armed forces charities further benefited through the creation of the People’s Run 2 Remember, another national series, organised nationally by Jim through a dedicated network of local organisers.

Indeed, if you have taken part in any event which included the term ‘People’s Run’ in its title, you have taken part in an event organised by Jim for the many good causes associated.

Beyond running, he organised the Rio Three Peaks Challenge events, modelled on the UK Three Peaks but using the mountains surrounding Rio de Janeiro and supporting street kids around the world.

Jim Cowan on top of Corcovado during the Rio Three Peaks Challenge in 2016.

From pub nights to dinners, from fun runs to challenge events, from local to national and international charities, Jim has created and managed hundreds of events.

And he has also tackled a number of challenge events himself to raise further funds. From completing the Three Peaks inside 24 hours to taking on Hadrian’s Wall non-stop in 31 hours, and  completing the Fan Dance in just outside 4 hours to his current project, Challenge 72.

Challenge 72 will involve Jim and a friend, Aide Myatt, walking 72 miles, in under 72 hours, while each carrying 72lbs on their back, supported by four other friends. It takes place between 27th and 29th August and raises funds for the Grenfell Foundation supporting a community still struggling over three years on from the tragic fire.

If you would like to find out more about Challenge 72, which Jim describes as his toughest challenge yet, full details can be found at www.challenge72.co.uk along with a link to the Just Giving page.

After Challenge 72, what will come next for Jim? He doesn’t know yet. But you can be assured that despite the negative experience provided by Cancer Research UK’s theft of the Race for Life, he is far from finished supporting other important causes.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

CANCER RESEARCH UK ANNOUNCE CUTS AND REDUNDANCIES

After a disastrous drop in fundraising due to Covid-19, a drop forecast to hit £300m over 3 years, Cancer Research UK has announced cuts to its workforce including 500 redundancies.

While Race 4 Truth has issue with the organisation’s leadership, we feel for those members of staff affected by these cuts and send our best wishes to them all, together with our hopes that they all find new roles at organisations (hopefully with more integrity) very soon.

Of course, CRUK’s leadership are well know for their hypocrisy and we note that Chief Executive Michelle Mitchell has not announced that she will be taking any cut to her £1/4 million a year salary, nor that the numerous other expensive roles within her organisation will be doing the same.

And we can only imagine how bad the forecast might be without the Race for Life in their portfolio, the same Race for Life stolen from Jim Cowan, the event’s creator, by then CRUK employee Jill MacRae; and the same Race for Life Mitchell’s organisation then spent 25 years spinning numerous lies about its origins. Despite now knowing the facts, Mitchell has avoided correcting the lies choosing instead to look the other way.

And wouldn’t now be a good time to have someone like Jim Cowan, someone with the ability to create such a new, groundbreaking, fundraising event on your side instead of having deliberately lied about, ignored and alienated him over so many years?

In the Race For Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind!

THE TRUE STORY OF HOW THE RACE FOR LIFE WAS BORN

Early in 1993, John Cowan was diagnosed with the Prostate Cancer which would eventually take his life. The diagnosis motivated John’s son, Jim, to create a fundraising event to support the fight against cancer.

Through the summer of 1993, he researched what events already existed and searched for a ‘gap in the market’ – a gap big enough that it could be fully exploited to raise significant funds and increase awareness.

Although his starting point was his father’s Prostate Cancer, he ended up creating an event which raised funds for, and raised awareness of, women’s cancers. That event was to be called ‘The Race For Life.’

Jim had already organised a number of different fundraising events for good causes and also organised some road running events.

Using the road running events as a starting point, he identified that women were seriously underrepresented in running events, often with fewer than 15% of fields. It occurred to him that, surely, more women must want to run these events but, for some reason, weren’t, So, he decided to discover why not?

He found three key things were preventing women from taking part in road running:
1. The distances were generally considered too long. At the time most events were 5 miles and further. 5km road events were few and far between, 5000m being seen more as a track athlete’s event.

2. The events that were available were not viewed as ‘female friendly.’ The general atmosphere was very male dominated and, it was felt, unwelcoming for women.

3. Existing races were overly competitive, very serious and, put simply, just not fun.

Jim realised that, providing a solution to these issues would combine very well with his desire to create a new fundraising event to support the fight against cancer. That solution was to create a series of 5km runs, open only to women, which focused on fun not on competition. He called his idea, ‘The Race For Life.’

Initially, Jim took his idea to a breast cancer charity which, following consideration, declined the idea having decided it would not work. Then a conversation with a friend at his local athletic club opened the door to making an approach to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF – Cancer Research UK’s former name). That friend was about to start temping at the charity and promised to find a contact name for Jim to approach.

This she did, and on 5th October 1993 Jim wrote to ICRF’s Events Manager, Jill MacRae (nee Baker), outlining his idea. A meeting was arranged, which then led to Jim organising the very first Race for Life in Battersea Park in 1994.

The rest should be a matter of historical record. However, following the successful launch Jill MacRae decided to falsely claim the idea as her own and ICRF, and later CRUK, have denied the idea was Jim’s, coming up with a range of different stories and whitewashing him from any mention in association with the event.

It is time for Cancer Research UK to do the right thing, stop the lies, and recognise Jim for his amazing creation, one which has benefitted the charity by many hundreds of millions of pounds, opened up running to women, and which changed the fundraising landscape in the UK forever. And, one which should be a fitting tribute from a son to his deceased father.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK is lagging behind.

Below, a copy of Jim’s original letter proposing the Race for Life to ICRF/CRUK.

CHARITY SECTOR’S FAVOURITE HYPOCRITE STRIKES AGAIN

She’s at it again.

The charity sector’s favourite hypocrite is, once again, accepting recognition while continuing to deny any recognition to Jim Cowan, the man who created Race for Life, her charity’s biggest fundraiser.

Yesterday, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) were recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for their “outstanding contribution to tobacco control.” And CRUK’s CEO, Michelle Mitchell wasted no time in telling the world via Twitter.

We are not saying the recognition Mitchell and CRUK received from WHO is not merited, we are highlighting how hypocritical it is to accept recognition for yourself while knowingly denying it to someone else; someone whose creation has raised hundreds of millions of pounds for your charity.

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines hypocrisy thus:

Hypocrisy (hɪˈpɒk.rɪ.si); a situation in which someone pretends to believe something that they do not really believe, or that is the opposite of what they do or say at another time: “There’s one rule for her and another rule for everyone else and it’s sheer hypocrisy.”

And in refusing to give the recognition rightly due to Jim Cowan, every time they accept recognition (individually or as an organisation), or bestow recognition on others, they are acting hypocritically.

Back in January we catalogued Mitchell and her charity’s shocking record of hypocrisy asking whether she is the UK charity sector’s biggest hypocrite?

It appears it is a crown she is proud to wear. But then, she does love a bit of recognition!

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind!