THIS year's Winchester Race for Life will make history - by allowing men to run the course as well as women and children.

The flagship Cancer Research UK event will be open to anyone wanting to take part in the five kilometre run.

Georgina Horne, event manager, said: "Our Race for Life events have been women-only since they started, over 25 years ago.

"But we now feel the time is right to open them up so that everyone - women, men and children - has the chance to participate together.

"We did research into what would be best for the project, and figured that letting more people in was just that.

"The idea wasn't directly to boost the numbers but I will help. We also have received lots of negative comments about the event being 'women only', so that, with the research, helped us come to a decision."

For the first time, the charity day will start from the North Walls Recreation Ground, next to River Park Leisure Centre, on May 26.

Georgina said: "Our Race for Life events are fun, colourful, emotional and uplifting. They help people with cancer by raising money for research, including clinical trials which give patients in Winchester access to the latest treatments."

Last year, over 700 women ran the Winchester race and raised more than £50,000 for Cancer Research UK.

She added: "One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer, at some point during their lifetime. Sadly, this means nearly everyone is touched by the disease, either directly or through a loved one or friend.

"To make a significant difference in the fight against cancer we need to harness as much energy and commitment as possible – so what better way than involving everyone in the community in our events."

To sign up for the event, visit or call 03001 230770.