Monthly Archives: September 2018


As we have regularly reported, Cancer Research UK and the Race for Life already have form for using the truth liberally, being disingenuous with followers and with omitting key details to mislead supporters. Now they are at it again.

We have exposed Cancer Research UK and the Race for Life over their use of deliberately misleading communications before.

Sometimes it has been lying by omission, for example by not letting people know that none of their Race for Life entry fee goes to support research.

Or when they cleverly tell people that all the funds raised go to Cancer Research UK; as we pointed out not the same thing as going to research into cancer.

Then there was the discovery that when they calculate how much of their income does go to research, they fiddle the figures by deliberately omitting numerous income streams including Race for Life entry fees, merchandising, high street stores, and more, thus significantly inflating the percentage figure they claim.

Now, yesterday (24th September), the CRUK Events East Twitter feed (@CRUKEventsEast) posted a series of tweets stating; “The money you raised from completing Race for Life events….this summer will go directly into life-saving research” (our italics).

Only it won’t. It will go to directly to Cancer Research UK from where a percentage will find its way towards funding research. But not before 3964 members of staff have been paid (219 of whom earn over £60,000 with the top five earners receiving over £1 million between them each year). Not before expensive offices are paid for. Not before glossy marketing and advertising campaigns are paid for, such as the ‘donate £2 a month’ TV campaign which requires 18000 annual subscribers just to pay their CEO.

Directly into life-saving research.” Their words.

Dishonest or disingenuous? You decide.

Misleading and clearly incorrect? Definitely.

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


Given Cancer Research UK continue to lie about Jim Cowan and their claim he did not create the Race for Life, even recently costing him a job offer, you would think they would offer an alternative as to where the event started, as to how it was created?

After all, they must have records of the discussions and the meetings which led to the event’s creation? And, given that, surely they paint a consistent story as to the events beginnings?

Well, no. They don’t.

But that is the problem with falsehoods, with lies, eventually you forget what you claimed and claim something else entirely, catching yourself out. And, of course, you have no evidence to support your fiction because it is just that, fiction. No records of discussions, of meetings, of correspondence. Because they don’t exist.

Interested in checking out Cancer Research UK’s false claims, Race 4 Truth carried out a little research which has exposed a story which, as such fictions do, keeps changing. There may be more and different claims, but in only one day’s digging, this is what we uncovered:


In a letter from Jill MacRae, its then National Events Manager, what was then the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) credited Jim Cowan with coming to them with the original idea for the Race for Life. This was the last time they were honest about who created the event.


After severing all ties to Jim Cowan, Jill MacRae started to claim she came up with the Race for Life herself. It would appear that ICRF/CRUK believed her. She went on to build a career on the false, probably fraudulent claim.


In an article in the 19th July issue of Athletics Weekly, an ICRF spokesperson claimed that the Race for Life was based on, “a concept from America called Walk for a Cure.”

In the same issue of Athletics Weekly, a letter from Louise Holland, ICRF’s Race for Life Director, stated, “the concept was taken from the Susan Komen Foundation.”


In November of 2013, Jill MacRae contacted Jim Cowan via Linked In and email threatening legal action if he did not stop claiming to have created the Race for Life. Supported by Jane Arnell, Tony Elischer, and Sarah Guthrie (former colleagues of hers at ICRF/CRUK), she claimed they were all “shocked” by Jim’s “misleading claims.” MacRae claimed to have never heard of Jim Cowan and asserted that her colleagues had not either. This 1994 letter from Jill MacRae to Jim Cowan puts the lie to that lie. (Over the months, we have shared more evidence that includes correspondence to and from Jill Macrae to support Jim’s position and debunks MacRae’s lies).

Also in November of 2013, Jill MacRae amended the Race for Life entry on Wikipedia to state; “Race for Life was created by fundraisers Jill MacRae (nee Baker) and Jane Arnell at what was then the Imperial CancerResearch Fund.” At Jim’s request, supported by evidence, Wikipedia amended the page to show the truth, that the creator of the Race for Life was him.

On 12th December, Jim Cowan responded to Jill MacRae’s threats stating; “To say that I am surprised at both your claims and you accusation would be an understatement. Your cynical duplicity in laying claim to the original idea is preposterous and your accusation that my own claims are untrue is a gross misrepresentation of the facts.”

Jim has not heard from MacRae, or her colleagues, since.


Jim Cowan was advised that the website ‘Informed Edinburgh’ had carried an article titled ‘Spotlight on Jill MacRae’ in which she stated; “I created the Race for Life and organised the very first 5K event way back in 1993 (sic), when I was National Events Manager at what is now Cancer Research UK. The article was removed after Jim contacted the website advising them that, “Ms MacRae knows this not to be the case” providing evidence debunking her lie.


In May 2017 , Nicki Ford from Cancer Research UK stated, “We do not publicly credit anyone with originating the event.”

In September 2017, Cancer Research UK’s Chairman, Prof. Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, stated, “We do not credit anyone with originating the event.”

It would appear that, unable to prove any of the previous claims Cancer Research UK and, primarily, Jill MacRae had made about the creation of the event, the policy was now to simply shut up and claim nothing.


Maybe she didn’t get the memo shared by Ford and Borysiewicz, or maybe it was just time to change the claim again, but in May this year, Cancer Research UK’s current National Events Manager, Annette Quarry, stated that the original pilot was from yet another different source, this time the American Cancer Society.

We now wait with baited breath for the next claim as to the creation of the Race for Life. There are two things we know for sure though:

  1. While CRUK’s story keeps changing, Jim Cowan’s has remained consistent throughout.
  2. While CRUK and their various employees (current and former) have offered no supporting evidence for any of their claims, Jim Cowan has. Race 4 Truth will continue sharing that evidence over the coming weeks and months.

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


Cancer Research UK has had a new strap line for its events over the summer; “Cancer Plays Dirty, So Do We”. And it’s a case of never a truer word spoken as we have exposed their support for fraud, lies, hypocrisy and more over recent months.

Where to start? It’s not as if it is only one or two instances of Cancer Research UK “playing dirty”. No, “playing dirty” is deeply ingrained in the culture, the very fabric of the organisation.

They “play dirty” when they refuse to recognise the man who created the Race for Life. Worse, not only have they consistently refused to give him the recognition due, they have made up a whole series of tales inventing different stories for the origins for the event. Misrepresentation at best.

They “play dirty” when they mislead those considering entering the Race for Life and other events by telling them “this is beating cancer” but not telling them that not a single penny of their entry fee funds any research at all. Worse, they exclude all income from those events, from merchandise, from high street stores, from the figure they cite for percentage of income funding research. Misleading at best.

They “play dirty” when they pay themselves huge salaries, all of which need to be paid before a single penny of funds raised go to research. Their top five earners being paid over £1 million between them and 219 earning over £60,000 a year. More corporate greed that charitable act.

They “play dirty” when they support the CV of former Head of Events Jill MacRae who falsely claimed to be the creator of the Race for Life, possibly supporting fraud given a CV is used in order to make financial gain.

They play dirty when they accept awards and recognition for themselves, when they give recognition and awards to their own yet hypocritically deny recognition to the man who created their biggest fundraising event.

They play dirty when they claim never to have heard of the man who created the Race for Life when a different charity asks about him to verify his CV thus costing him a job offer.

Yes Cancer Research UK, when you claim you ‘play dirty’ it may be the most (only?) honest claim you have made in months, if not years.

Unethical. hypocritical, dishonest, lacking transparency or integrity. Yes, Cancer Research UK definitely ‘play dirty’ – just not in the way they want you to think.

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


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 more (as is likely), 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, CRUK’s other slick marketing, office costs, a legal team the size of which would make many corporates blush, and more, and much 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).

Is there an alternative? Yes. Choose a different charity which funds and supports research into cancer such as The Institute of Cancer Research, Worldwide Cancer Research, or World Cancer Research Fund

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


Figures are for 2016 salaries.

On-costs calculated using


Yesterday (1st September), The Times revealed* that the reason some celebrities may have missed out on knighthoods and other awards from the Queen could be to do with their tax affairs. But if tax avoidance is legal, so is hypocrisy. Why limit the awarding, or otherwise, to one type of questionable ethics and not any other?

Here at the Race 4 Truth, we have highlighted the hypocrisy of Cancer Research UK (CRUK), the Race for Life and those responsible for running them on numerous occasions.

One of those instances was highlighting the hypocrisy of their most recent CEO, Sir Harpal Kumar, in accepting a knighthood and recognition for himself while denying any recognition at all to the person who created the charity’s most successful fundraising event, the Race for Life.

We highlighted that CRUK regularly, and hypocritically, accept and bestow recognition for and to their own, while continuing their campaign of lies and misrepresentation about the creation of the event.

We then questioned that the Board of Trustees at CRUK has among its number three Knights and one Dame  while the hypocrisy towards recognition of Jim Cowan, the creator of the Race for Life, continues.

Of course, both tax avoidance and hypocrisy are legal so should either bar anyone from receiving an honour? We leave answering that question to others but ask why, if one form of legal but unethical behaviour leads to a bar, why not any other?

We can only hope that when CRUK’s new CEO, Michelle Mitchell (herself an OBE), starts work that the deeply embedded culture of hypocrisy in the charity will be ended and that Jim Cowan will, at last, receive the recognition he is long overdue to receive.

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

*Because reading The Times article requires a subscription, for those of our readers who do not have one the story can be read in full on Sky News here.