Tag Archives: ICRF


In March we reported how the new Chair at Cancer Research UK, Lord Simon Stevens, had snubbed Race for Life creator Jim Cowan by failing to reply to his letter of 18th October 2023. 

Jim’s letter was in response to Stevens’ appointment as Chair at CRUK and asking that he assist in putting right a wrong of almost thirty years, that of Jim being written from the history of the Race for Life, the event he created.

Incredibly, Stevens has finally replied. Or, more accurately, Simon Ledsham (Cancer Research UK’s Director of Fundraising) has replied on his behalf.

Ledsham’s letter was dated 15th May 2024 meaning it took an incredible seven months for CRUK to reply to Jim Cowan’s letter. Yes, you read that correctly, seven months.

Why the reply took so long in coming is unclear. It certainly said nothing new, stating that CRUK do not credit anyone with originating any of their events.

It is a position riddled with flaws and which only evidences the fact that CRUK will use any excuse to avoid having to face up to the truth. 

The line has been used by CRUK previously when their Head of Legal, Nicki Ford, replied to a 2017 letter from Jim to the former CRUK Chief Executive Harpal Kumar. Ford’s letter, referring specifically to the Race for Life, stated, “we do not publicly credit anyone with originating the event, whether it be a former employee or otherwise.”

Not crediting former employees for events they might have created may be reasonable. After all, it was part of their job. That said, some might consider it more than a little hypocritical given the recognition successive CEOs and Chairs have been happy to accept for simply doing their jobs.

However, that is irrelevant. Jim was never an employee of the organisation. He came up with the idea following his own father’s cancer diagnosis and proposed the event to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF; CRUK’s former name) as one that he would organise and deliver, and which ICRF would benefit from. 

He came up with the idea completely independently of ICRF/CRUK and never proposed the Race for Life would become anything other than an event that he would organise in support of them. He never proposed that the event should be taken over and run by them.

It was only after the successful launch of the event in 1994 that ICRF’s Head of Events, Jill MacRae, called Jim up and told him he was no longer required. Yes, they stole the event. And MacRae even went on to falsely claim she had created the event herself.

Surely, given this history, it would be right and proper for a charity, an organisation you would hope has at least some integrity, to put the record straight and recognise Jim (and, in so doing, his father’s memory).

Unfortunately, CRUK are not an organisation of integrity. Instead they prefer to keep the truth buried and continue to lie.

And the evidence exposes CRUK’s ‘credit no one’ stance for the cover up it is.

Previously they have cited a number of different, incorrect, sources as where the Race for Life originated. But they were happy to do so, happy to give credit, even though it was to the wrong people they were crediting. What of the ‘credit no one’ stance then?

They turned a blind eye to Jill MacRae’s lies (and fraud) when she claimed to have created the event; a lie which did nothing to harm MacRae’s career. There was no ‘credit no one stance’ then.

Cancer Research UK also regularly recognise those from outside their organisation (as Jim was) for their fundraising efforts, for the events and other fundraisers they stage. They even have an annual awards ceremony at which these individuals are recognised, the Flame of Hope Awards. Hardly ‘credit no one.’

Their social media regularly applauds the efforts of those both from within and from outside the organisation for their efforts to raise funds. ‘Credit no one’?

They happily accept recognition for themselves, presumably not seeing doing so for the hypocrisy it is. Stevens himself has accepted a peerage and a knighthood in recognition of his own work. CEO Michelle Mitchelle accepted an OBE in recognition of her work. Previous Chairs and CEOs have done the same.

But, when it comes to recognition for Jim Cowan for creating their largest and most successful fundraiser, it is a position of ‘credit no one.’ A dictionary definition of the word hypocrisy.

Why adopt a ‘credit no one’ stance when both their history and their present day are littered with examples of credit being given and achievements being recognised? This, on top of a history of citing incorrect sources for the event for which they now ‘credit no one’.

And then there was their 2020 inquiry into the origins of the Race for Life. A sham inquiry if ever their was one. An inquiry which chose not to speak to witnesses and failed to ask for any documentary evidence before coming up with the finding that the origins of the Race for Life could not be established. And why have that inquiry if the organisation’s position is one of ‘credit no one’ anyway?

And it was the same Simon Ledsham who has now written to Jim, on behalf of CRUK’s Chair, citing their sham ‘credit no one’ stance, who wrote at that time (2020) 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.”

Well, which is it Simon? Do you ‘credit no one’ or do you spend time investigating (without seeking evidence or witnesses) before stating you’ve been unable to find the evidence you never looked for?

Simon Ledsham presenting a Flame of Hope Award in 2023

Indeed the evidence, should you bother to look for it, speaks for itself. The correspondence from 1993 (page 1 here here and page 2 here) and 1994 (here) is clear. If there is doubt, witnesses can be asked. If there is still doubt, even Runners World magazine acknowledge the Race for Life as Jim’s creation. And they should know because Jim involved them from the very start.

But CRUK choose to ignore all the evidence opting instead to keep the truth buried, to ignore the lies they have told over the last thirty years, to ‘credit no one’ while hypocritically crediting others and accepting credit for themselves.

Recent years have seen a number of cover ups exposed. From Grenfell to Hillsborough and from contaminated blood to the Post Office, among many others. Perhaps, in their denial, in their lies, and in their covering up of the truth, Cancer Research UK’s senior management are doing little other than attempting to create ‘plausible deniability’ over how much they know just in case media, politicians and the courts ask questions of them in the future?

But the dishonesty, the hypocrisy and the many contradictions are there and clear to see for all who care to look.

CRUK by name, crooks by nature.

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


(Clue: They don’t have any).

When two parties disagree about something, how do you decide which one to believe?

Is it the one who makes claims but has no evidence to support those claims, or is it the one who has evidence and is happy to share it?

Is it the one whose story constantly changes and is unsupported by anything other than hearsay, or is it the one whose story has remained unchanged from the start, who is consistent, and who is able to provide both documentary evidence and witnesses?

Establishing the truth about the creation of the Race for Life is as simple as deciding who is telling the truth in these examples. 

Is it Cancer Research UK (CRUK)?

Their current stance is that the origins of the Race for Life are unclear. This stance came about following an inquiry they claim to have had into the event’s creation. An inquiry they do not want to make public. An inquiry in which they cannot say what evidence was considered. An inquiry in which they did not contact Jim Cowan to ask him to provide evidence or contacts for witnesses. An inquiry which doesn’t appear to have been interested in gathering facts or learning the truth.

Prior to their ‘inquiry’ CRUK admitted that they have no records from the time the Race for Life was created. So what records were considered, what evidence was looked at?  

Prior to their ‘inquiry’ and their ‘origins are unclear’ line, CRUK’s version of the creation of the Race for Life changed frequently (more here). Hardly the position of an organisation which knows the truth, which has facts, which has evidence to support its many and varied statements.

And then there were the possibly fraudulent claims of their former employee Jill MacRae (more here). MacRae claimed to be the person who created the Race for Life, even challenging Jim Cowan’s claim before going quiet when he produced evidence to the contrary, including a letter signed by MacRae herself.

CRUK have plenty of claims, of stories, of unsubstantiated statements to feed their ‘origins are unclear’ line. But evidence? They have none. They have been unable to provide a single piece of evidence to counter Jim Cowan’s claim to be the event’s creator.

So, what of Jim Cowan? What evidence can he provide to support his claim to be the man who created the event?

Certainly he can provide more than CRUK. Granted, not difficult given CRUK have provided none at all.

First of all, while CRUK have no records from 1993 and 1994 when the event was created, Jim does. He has a copy of his original letter to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (CRUK’s previous name) proposing the event, explaining why and how he had come up with the idea. Unlike today, 5km charity runs were non-existent at that time so this was a ground-breaking, sector changing idea (more here).

He also has a copy of a reply from Jill MacRae (under her maiden name of Baker) in which she thanks him for his interest in organising an event to benefit the charity and confirming details of their meeting to discuss the idea.

After the first Race for Life took place in 1994, MacRae again wrote, “Mr Cowan came to us with the original idea.” Jim Cowan has a copy of this letter too (read it here).

Other evidence includes the original South of England Athletics Association permit (which incorporated the Public Liability Insurance for the 1994 event), faxes between himself and Runner’s World magazine in which he outlines the event and arranges their support for it, faxes between himself and shoe company ASICS in which he arranges more support for the event, and faxes containing further correspondence between himself and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.

It is a significant body of evidence and when compared to CRUK’s complete lack of any evidence, Jim Cowan’s case is clearly overwhelming. But it doesn’t end there.

In addition he can provide witnesses from the time the Race for Life was created by him. These witnesses include the person who was working as a temp at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund with whom Jim had discussed his idea and who found MacRae’s contact details for him. They include representatives of clubs who supported the first running of the event by helping to marshal it, they include sponsors of the event and others. Sadly, others who could have provided testimony have since passed away, including the Olympian John Bicourt from whom Jim had much support. Still available though is correspondence between John and Jim.

On top of this, the leading running magazine Runner’s World (who supported the very first Race for Life and continued that support for many years) listed Jim at number two on the list of Running Game Changers it produced to celebrate its thirtieth anniversary in the UK. Why? Because, in their own words, he is the ‘creator of the Race for Life’ (more here).

Then there is Wikipedia who also list Jim as the person who had ‘the original idea for the Race for Life’ (link here).

Who created the Race for Life? The evidence is overwhelming. It is the party who can support his claim with evidence both documentary and provided by witnesses. The origins of the event are far from ‘unclear’ as Cancer Research UK, the party which can provide no evidence at all, claims.

It is time Cancer research UK did the right thing and gave Jim Cowan the recognition he so thoroughly deserves.

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


Cancer Research UK are not shy when it comes to posting lots of stories, claims and other reports across their numerous social media profiles. But, why isn’t anyone questioning how much of what they say is true? After all, an organisation which is quite happy to consistently lie about one thing is highly unlikely to be honest with you about everything else.

And this shouldn’t be news to anyone. They have been lying to you for over a quarter of a century, both in their current format and in their previous incarnation as the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. 

Cancer Research UK, its CEO Michelle Mitchell, and many others within the organisation (including its Trustees), are fully aware of that lie. Thy are fully aware that at least one key part of the charity’s history is, literally, made up. And that must cast doubt on any other claims they make, tales they tell. For where there is one big lie, there are likely to be others.

Cancer Research UK, and its predecessor the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, have rewritten the history of the Race For Life to exclude Jim Cowan, the person who actually created it, and then spent the next 27 years spreading different fictional versions (i.e. lies). 

We must therefore pose the question; how can anyone know for sure that they haven’t rewritten other parts of their story, made up other tales they tell?

Mitchell might claim that she knows nothing of this rewriting of history, although as CEO she should avail herself of the facts. And, of course, she has had that opportunity but declined it. 

In the past the very weak defence was that they had no documentation from the event’s creation. 

But that doesn’t hold water. Firstly because of the numerous fictional versions they have relayed over the years. On what were they based if CRUK has no documentation on which to base them? Secondly, because we have offered (on more than one occasion) to sit down and share documents and witness contacts with Mitchell but she was not interested. Evidence that clearly proves Jim Cowan created the Race For Life and that Cancer Research UK have peddled nothing more than a series of lies over the intervening years.

In short, they know they are not telling the truth but prefer not to correct the lies; they prefer fiction to truth. 

How can they then talk about Cancer Research UK’s history when, clearly, they don’t even care whether parts of it are even accurate? Worse, they know it is a lie but look the other way, pretend not to know. And if one part of the story is told while known to be false, what else among their posts, press releases, claims, and other tales require (politely) closer examination?

Cancer Research UK and its CEO Michelle Mitchell have declined the opportunity to see documentation and to speak to witnesses who can confirm the correct story of the creation of the Race for Life.

They prefer a heads in the sand approach, an ignore any facts we don’t like mentality.  

Surely, therefore, as well as the truth of anything CRUK tell us, another big question that has implications for the organisation’s future, is that of whether it can be trusted? 

With a track record of rewriting history, lies, hypocrisy, turning a blind eye to fraud, low integrity, poor ethics, and absent morals (all evidenced), we certainly would not trust them. But they could very quickly make a start on repairing the damage by recognising Jim Cowan, putting the record straight on their employee fraud, and acknowledging the many wrongs done in the last quarter of a century.

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

NOTE: We should add that we also know that the Race for Life’s creator, Jim Cowan, has offered to sit down with Mitchell, her predecessor (Harpal Kumar) and CRUK’s Chairman (Leszek Borysiewicz) to share documents, correspondence and witness contacts on more than one occasion. All three declined those offers too. It appears that accuracy, honesty, and truth; and with them trust, are not high up Cancer Research UK’s list of priorities.


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.


Imagine creating a groundbreaking new fundraising event, one which goes on to raise over £1/2 Billion for the charity you shared it with and which changed the fundraising landscape in the UK for good, creating a type of event which has raised many times more than that for hundreds of charities.

Now, imagine you are going for a job and the charity you took your creation to, the one that has raised over £1/2 Billion through it, denied ever having heard of you making your CV look a lie and costing you the job.

How would you feel?

It is 25 years since Jim Cowan came up with the idea for the Race for Life and for 23 of those years Cancer Research UK (and their predecessor the Imperial Cancer Research Fund) have denied Jim had anything to do with the event. They have misrepresented its roots, created false stories, and supported the fraud of someone who lied about having created the event for her own career advancement.

Jim had tolerated the lies, the hypocrisy, the fraud, and the misrepresentations but finally, enough was enough. In may 2018 he vented that frustration on his Facebook timeline.

His post led to an outpouring of support from his friends, and from people he has never met.

Having read the post, we decided the best support we could offer Jim was to run a campaign to uncover the truth and demand Jim receive the recognition he deserves. Jim agreed to our idea and has been (and will be) allowing us to share copies of evidence from the event’s beginnings and from the intervening years.

Jim has also consented to our copying the post he put on Facebook in May, the post which led to such a big outpouring of support and which motivated us to start this campaign. That post read:

“Is there a charity with less integrity than Cancer Research UK?

I thought long and hard before posting this but I am fed up with this charity and their campaign of lies about the origins of the Race for Life. Up to now I have been frustrated by it, annoyed by it, and (of course) missed out of the recognition due for being the creator of the event and, some might say, the change in the UK charity fundraising landscape that came with it.

But now their lie is adversely affecting my next career move.

Yesterday, I received a phone call from the HR department of a large charity at which I had recently been interviewed for a new role. The call was to inform me that, although they felt I was by far the best candidate, they would not be offering me the role.

The reason? They had contacted some of the charities on my CV to check my history and all but one had checked out. The one? Cancer Research UK claimed to have never heard of me and denied I had ever had anything to do with the Race for Life.

Enough is enough. Their continued lying needs exposing.”


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


On 19th June we published an article which asked; “were false claims about who created the Race for Life fraud?

In the article we provided evidence and outlined how Jill MacRae, a former Cancer Research UK employee, had blatantly lied, claiming to have created the Race for Life. We exposed how she had previously acknowledged Jim Cowan as the creator of the event, stating he had “come to us with the original idea.”

MacRae had gone on to build a successful career on the back of her false claim, including high profile roles with other charities such as British Lung Foundation, National Autistic Society, Visibility and, currently, Barnardo’s. We questioned whether including the blatant misrepresentation of her past on her CV might be fraud?

Jill MacRae

Incredibly, MacRae had even contacted Jim Cowan insisting he stop laying claim to her idea! Jim’s response is reproduced in the article and left MacRae in no doubt it was her who should desist.

While we can’t see or hear what she still claims in private, or on her CV, we do know that she did remove her claim from social media, including her Linked In account.


Unfortunately for MacRae, the internet has a long memory and a Race 4 Truth supporter spotted an article on her in which she made her false claim and forwarded a screen grab to us.

The article is a feature on MacRae on the website, ‘Informed Edinburgh’ in their series of ‘Spotlight On’ features. Comments in the article suggest it probably dates from between 2008 to 2011 when MacRae was running a company called Blether Media.

In the article, MacRae is asked; “can you tell me a random fact about yourself?”

Her reply: “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.”

And it is a blatant lie.

The truth, as MacRae well knows, is that Jim Cowan created the event in 1993 after his father was diagnosed with cancer. He took that idea to MacRae at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK), and he organised the first Race for Life in 1994 (not in 1993 as MacRae suggests).

And Cancer Research UK know the truth, they just choose to tell different stories.

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

If you come across any articles featuring MacRae and her false claims, or anyone else, please forward them to Race 4 Truth so we can expose them. Should you require it (for example if you work with Cancer Research UK or one of the organisations MacRae has since worked with), your anonymity is safe with us. You can contact us here.


By 2013 Jim Cowan was used to seeing and hearing misinformation and untruths from Cancer Research UK about who created the Race for Life. But what happened in November of that year, even with his near 20 year experience of the origins of the event he created being lied about, took Jim by surprise and raised questions as to where the original lie began.


6th November 2013 started as a normal working day for Jim Cowan but that changed when shortly after lunch he received both an email and a Linked In message from Jill MacRae. Jim knew MacRae as she was the Cancer Research UK (then called Imperial Cancer Research Fund, or ICRF) employee to who he had taken the original idea for the Race for Life back in 1993.

What surprised Jim was that MacRae was claiming to have come up with the idea herself and also claimed that she did not recall ever meeting him, going as far as saying she was contacting former colleagues at ICRF to see whether they had heard of him. MacRae demanded to know why Jim was telling people he created the event?

Jill MacRae

Initially angered by the bold faced lie, and used to years of a variety of lies, about the origins of the event Jim decided to ignore the email and message, determined that if MacRae were serious she would contact him again repeating her false claim.

Which she did. On 30th November 2013, MacRae again contacted Jim, this time by letter, email, and Facebook Messenger. MacRae wrote:

“Your claim for ‘coming up with the original idea for, designing and launching the UK’s largest women’s participation event, the Race for Life’ is untrue. I have been in contact with the fundraising team that was in place at Imperial Cancer Research Fund when Race for Life was created and launched, to secure their support in setting the record straight. Tony Elischer, who was the Head of Fundraising, Jane Arnell, who was the Director of Fundraising Development, and Sarah Guthrie, who was my fellow fundraising manager, are all as shocked as I am by your misleading claims. They are copied into this email.”

MacRae went on to demand that Jim remove his “misleading references” and to “refrain from misrepresenting your role going forward.”

We can only assume that MacRae thought Jim had not kept any records from 1993 and that, with the backing of her former colleagues, she could continue to falsely lay claim to being the creator of the event. That support was underlined when Jane Arnell replied to everyone copied into the email with the comment, “brilliant keep us posted (sic).”

Jim was also made aware that MacRae had edited the Wikipedia page for the Race for Life, removing his name and replacing it with the false claim, “Race for Life was created by fundraisers Jill MacRae (nee Baker) and Jane Arnell at what was then the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.”

Confident he could evidence the idea as his own, Jim decided on a forthright response to MacRae’s claims, sent by email and post, making it clear that should she pursue her false claim, he would defend himself vigorously:

“To say I am surprised at both your claims and your 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.

Not only did I come up with the original idea for the Race for Life, you have previously acknowledged your excitement at my idea when replying to my original letter proposing the Race for Life and confirmed the fact that the original idea was mine, in writing.

Suggesting to others that I am lying about these facts is defamation of my character. It also appears that at some stage you made a conscious decision to claim the idea as your own, whether by misleading your colleagues at the ICRF or with their collusion is unclear.

You should be advised that should you continue to make false accusations against or about me and which may lead to personal and/or professional damage I will defend myself and my reputation vigorously.”

Jim copied his response to MacRae’s former colleagues to ensure they were also aware of his stance and ensured that the Wikipedia page was corrected, providing evidence when requested in the form of a letter from MacRae herself confirming the original idea was his.

What happened next?


Jim hasn’t heard from MacRae since although it is interesting to note that she removed any reference to the Race for Life from her Linked In page following Jim’s letter. Whether Arnell thought Jim’s honest and factual reply was as “brilliant” as MacRae’s false claims, we don’t know because Jim hasn’t heard from her since either.

But what of fraud?

It is reasonable to assume that MacRae began claiming the Race for Life as her own creation not long after Jim first took it to ICRF. It would explain why she cut all ties to him in 1995 and might explain why, initially, ICRF/CRUK did not recognise Jim as the creator of the event, mistakenly believing their own employee. It would also be reasonable to assume that she would include such a huge success on her CV begging the question as to whether her ensuing career was built on that lie, a lie told to prospective employers in order to secure paid employment? We will leave it to the legal minds as to whether that is fraudulent but feel the question must be asked.

And while MacRae’s lies might have initially led to her then employer at Cancer Research UK not recognising Jim as the Race for Life’s creator, that is no longer an excuse as they have had plenty of time in the intervening years to view and assess the evidence.

Further reading:
Correspondence from Imperial Cancer Research Fund Confirms The Original Idea Was Jim Cowan’s
If Not Jim Cowan, Who Do Cancer Research UK Credit With Creating The Race For Life?
The Race For Life Was Jim Cowan’s Original Idea, As His 1993 Proposal Letter Proves
Yet Another Letter From CRUK’s Jill MacRae Confirms Jim Cowan As Creator Of The Race For Life



Something heavy “hit” me today, Father’s Day, as I read the following post that Jim Cowan shared with his friends on Facebook (shared here with his permission):

My first, and probably only, real hero.

He taught me right from wrong. He taught me to stand up in the face of adversity. He taught that winning is as much getting up to go again when the odds are against you as it is crossing the line first. He showed me patience and understanding. He gave me enough space to grow and make my own mistakes without letting me stray so far that those mistakes defined me. He gave me my love of Chelsea, of sport, of life. He helped me to appreciate that success can be defined in many ways. He helped me realise that everyone is talented, even if they are yet to find that talent. He instilled in me a willingness to debate, to argue my case but not be afraid to be proved wrong and to accept it with good grace when I am. Through him I learned so much, not least to help those less fortunate than I.

As I get older, I realise that I am him, and he was I.

Twenty five years since he left, he is still in my mind every day, my words and actions every minute, and my heart every time it beats.

“Thank you” seems nowhere near enough for what he gave me.

Happy Father’s Day Dad from your very grateful son.

That “something heavy” was the realisation that in refusing to formally acknowledge Jim Cowan as the originator of the Race for Life, Cancer Research UK are also effectively depriving John Cowan of the legacy his son Jim sought to create in his honour (see that story here: https://race4truth.com/history/ ).  I’m confident everyone at CRUK has a father, mother, parental figure, or mentor they would be proud to memorialise at some point. I ask each and every one of those folks the same question:  How would you feel if your efforts to honour your loved one were denied and invalidated?  If any one of you would want better for yourselves and your parent, I ask you to join us in the Race 4 Truth.

As long as I have known Jim he has shared these sorts of posts about his father on Father’s Day, birthdays, the anniversary of his passing…  today let’s let Jim’s memorial gift to his father John be restored.

I wish a Happy Father’s Day to Dads everywhere.

– Kim at Race 4 Truth


Supporters of the Race 4 Truth will be pleased to hear that we have added a new front to which we are carrying our fight by opening up an Instagram account.

Why not join us there and help the campaign to get Cancer Research UK to recognise Jim Cowan as the creator of the Race for Life?

You’ll find us on Instagram at race4truth

And our other social media is on Facebook at /Race4Truth and on Twitter @race_4_truth

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


Considering she later claimed that she had come up with the idea for the Race for Life, Cancer Research UK’s former Events Manager Jill MacRae left one hell of a paper trail proving otherwise.

We have already published Jim Cowan’s letter to her proposing his idea, a new event called the Race for Life, and we have also published a letter from MacRae which stated that “Mr Cowan came to us with the original idea…”

Today we share another letter from MacRae. This one follows on from Jim Cowan’s initial proposal and follows a phone conversation between the two of them to arrange a meeting to discuss the idea.

MacRae then wrote to Jim thanking him for his interest in organising an event to benefit the charity and stating that it sounded exciting. So exciting in fact, that she later stole the idea and built a successful career on the back of that lie.

What part MacRae played in Imperial Cancer Research Fund and then Cancer Research UK denying Jim created the event, or even that they have ever heard of him (thus costing him a job), we may never know.

We do know that there is no excuse for continuing with their charade and the time is long overdue for Jim to be rightly credited with his incredible creation.

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