It is a question we have been asked several times since launching our campaign; “why don’t Cancer Research UK sue the Race 4 Truth?”
Over the last three years we have talked about their low morals and their poor ethics. We have called them out for their dishonesty. We have exposed their hypocrisy. And we have shown how they covered up the fraud of a former employee.
And their response? Silence. Not a word.
The question has to be asked why, when an organisation with a legal department the size of which would make many corporates blush is called out over their morals, their ethics, their hypocrisy, their dishonesty and their cover-ups, why it doesn’t sue those making those accusations?
The answer, as Cancer Research UK are undoubtedly very aware, is a simple one.
You can’t sue someone for telling the truth. You can’t sue someone for reporting facts.
No, Cancer Research UK choose instead to stay silent. What else can they do without further incriminating themselves? Without exposing more hypocrisy? Without making up more tall tales about the Race for Life’s history?
Well, there is one thing they could do. Finally tell the truth. But we’re not holding our breath waiting for that to happen.
In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.
It has been said that the truth is consistent. It has no need to keep changing its story because it has no need to. It is the truth.
By contrast, lies often change over time. Details are difficult to recall when they are made up and variations to a story, and details therein, expose it for the fiction it is.
In the Race for Truth, it is Jim Cowan versus Cancer Research UK. Who do you believe is speaking the truth about the creation of the Race for Life?
Created the Race for Life in 1993 following his own father’s cancer diagnosis.
Launched the Race for Life in 1994 in Battersea Park in London.
Had the Race for Life stolen by Cancer Research UK employee Jill MacRae (nee Baker) in the winter of 1994/95.
His story has never wavered. His facts have never changed. His position is supported by documentary evidence and by witnesses.
Cancer Research UK.
In 1993, the Event Manager at Imperial Cancer Research UK (CRUK’s former name), Jill Macrae (nee Baker), wrote to Jim saying she was looking forward to meeting him to discuss his proposal.
In 1994, Jill MacRae confirmed in writing on Imperial Cancer Research Fund letterhead about the Race for Life; “Mr Cowan came to us with the original idea.”
In at Athletics Weekly article in 2000, Cancer Research UK’s Louise Holland claimed of the Race for Life, “the concept came from a series of run and walk events in the USA.”
In the same 2000 issue of Athletics Weekly an unnamed CRUK spokesperson claimed the Race for Life, “originated from Walk for a Cure.”
In the Glasgow Herald in September 2000 an unnamed CRUK spokesperson changed the story again to claim it; “originated from Race for the Cure.”
An OnRec article in March 2005 reported that Louise Holland had been awarded Motivator of the Year. She now claimed to have, “led and taken forward the Race for Life since it started in 1984.” (Note: It didn’t actually launch until 1994).
In 2008, Nottingham Trent University graduate Louise Holland was awarded with that university’s Alumnus of the Year Award although, strangely, she was now claiming to have taken over the running of the event in 1995.
In November 2013 Jill MacRae contacted Jim Cowan via letter and social media claiming she had never heard of him and that she was the originator of the Race for Life. Later that month she contacted him again repeating her (false) claim.
Also in November 2013 MacRae edited the Race for Life page on Wikipedia claiming the event was created by her and Jane Arnell (a colleague at Imperial Cancer Research Fund at the time).
In December 2013 Jim Cowan responded robustly to MacRae’s correspondence. He never heard from her again and her false claim was removed from her social media profiles.
Also in December 2013, Jim Cowan provided evidence to Wikipedia that he had created the Race for Life. The page was amended accordingly with a link to the evidence (a 1994 letter from Jill MacRae).
In 2016 an undated interview with Jill MacRae was uncovered in Informed Edinburgh. When asked, “can you tell us a random fact about yourself?” her reply was, “I created the Race for Life and organised the very first event way back in 1993.” (Note: It was not launched until 1994. You would expect the person who created the event to know that).
In the same interview with Informed Edinburgh, MacRae was asked, “describe yourself in three words,” to which she replied, “creative, inquisitive, determined.” She has certainly demonstrated her creativity with her false Race for Life claims.
In 2017, Cancer Research UK officially stopped citing any origin or creator for the Race for Life, instead adopted a stance of, “not publicly crediting anyone.” (Note: “publicly”).
Despite this, in 2018, CRUK National Events Manager, Annette Quarry, cited yet another origin for the Race for Life, this time “the original pilot was from the American Cancer Society.”
In 2019, CRUK overruled Quarry stating (again) they “do not credit anyone.”
In 2020, following an ‘internal inquiry’ CRUK’s Simon Ledsham claimed to have, “exhausted all reasonable lines of enquiry” and to have been, “unable to find any solid evidence which supports Jim Cowan’s claim to be the sole originator of Race for Life.” An inquiry which actually ignored solid evidence and did not talk to witnesses. An inquiry which CRUK refuse to open to public scrutiny. We can only wonder as to why that might be?
Since 1993 has stuck to a single story, one supported by documents, by witnesses, by facts.
Cancer Research UK.
Ever changing stories, ignoring clearly false claims by former and current employees, hiding behind an ‘acknowledge no one’ line, providing no evidence, no witnesses, and refusing to allow public examination of their so-called inquiry.
In the Race for Truth, it is Jim Cowan versus Cancer Research UK. We know who we believe. What about you?
In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.
MacRae’s new job involves working with young people on ‘mindfulness’ and the question has to be asked whether it is appropriate for a proven liar, someone who fraudulently made claims on her CV, to be working with young people?
MacRae is not someone who made a mistake in her past, has recanted, apologised, and is rehabilitated. No. MacRae is someone who knowingly stole and lied, built a career on the back of that lie, and who has never recanted, has never apologised, has never put right her wrong.
You could be forgiven for thinking she does not regret her past misdemeanours, that she sees little or nothing wrong with what she did.
And that begs the question; should such a person be working with young people on ‘mindfulness’?
MacRae is working as a yoga instructor at the charity, Cultivating Mindfulness. The charity works free of charge with young people between the ages of 12 and 23.
The Cultivating Mindfulness website states that they aim to “make wellbeing programmes that nourish the whole person.”
Their vision (sic) states; “We are devoted to helping our communities to work together to help each other thrive and flourish. Our mindfulness, meditation and wellbeing programmes and activities aim to support people to learn new ways of being to live happier, healthier and more meaningful lives. Our goals include creating more mindful and compassionate communities and to celebrate the spirit of giving to inspire others to be kinder.”
Does MacRae’s history of unrepentant dishonesty and the effect that had on the Race for Life’s actual creator, Jim Cowan, sound like ‘celebrating the spirit of giving to inspire others to be kinder’ to you?
No. Not to us either.
And MacRae’s profile on the website states; “Jill explores how nature and the changing seasons can influence not only how we practice yoga but how we live our lives, inspiring us to live each moment more mindfully.”
Let us repeat that last bit; “…inspiring us to live each moment more mindfully.”
How exactly? By stealing the ideas of others, by cheating people of their due recognition, by building careers built on lies? And by being totally unrepentant about the whole thing?
Perhaps MacRae could start inspiring young people to live each moment more mindfully by demonstrating some of what she preaches. She could admit her lies, apologise and ensure that she supports our campaign to get Jim Cowan the recognition he truly deserves for his incredible creation.
Until she does, maybe it would be unwise to have her involved in any sort of work where young people might consider her a role model, a teacher of values.
Until then, in the Race 4 Truth, Jill MacRae will always be lagging behind.
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?
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.
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!
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?
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.
We have exposed the lack of transparency Cancer Research UK has when it comes to where your donations go on numerous occasions. We have exposed the creative exclusion of certain income streams which give the impression that a higher percentage of funds raised support research than actually do. We exposed possible fraud, misinformation, hypocrisy, and more. Now, we turn our attention to how much of the money the public give to CRUK funds not research, but fat cat salaries. You may be surprised.
The Chief Executive’s salary alone (£240,000 + benefits) requires 18,000 people supporting CRUK’s “donate just £2 a month appeal” for twelve months each after ‘on-costs’ are applied.
Using that same calculation, how many people donating “just £2 per month” does it take to pay CRUK’s top earners?
Starting at the very top, CRUK’s top five earners receive over £1 million between them each year. Yes, you read that correctly. Over £1 million.
According to the 10 Percent Campaign, a further 219 CRUK employees earn over £60,000 per annum. This is up from 160 in 2013 and second only to Save The Children, and three times more than the next highest.
Let’s be kind to CRUK and assume that those 219 earn £60,000 and not, as is likely, more, meaning our calculation will be on the low side. That is still a whopping £13,140,000 every year, without on costs.
Let’s add the top five earners £1 million and then calculate on costs to understand how much CRUK needs to raise just to fund these positions BEFORE it funds any other jobs, offices, marketing……..oh yes, and research.
The figure is a mind boggling £24,745,000. Yes, you read that correctly, nearly £25 million, and remember our calculation is on the LOW side. Paying that amount would require over 1 million people to donate “just £2 a month’ for the full year. One million. Just to pay their top salary earners.
And these 224 employees make up less than 6% of CRUK’s total workforce of 3964. Again, yes, you read that correctly. Nearly 4000 people need paying, 224 at mind boggling rates, before a single penny funds the research you thought you were supporting.
And then, the cost of making that “just £2 a month” commercial, CRK’s other slick marketing, office costs, a legal team the size of which would make many corporates blush, and more, and more, also come before any research is funded.
When you donate your hard earned money, it is worth considering what you are supporting. Is it research into cancer or a large, slick machine, which misleads, misrepresents, and which acts both hypocritically and unethically, lying about the origins of its own largest fundraising event (the Race for Life).
In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.
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.
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.
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.
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!