EQUALITY has hit a leading charity event with men allowed to take part in the Race for Life for the first time.

Entries have opened for an upcoming seven Race for Life events across Essex with runners being offered a discount for registering in January.

Cancer Research UK’s annual races will start in Essex in May beginning in Harlow and travelling to Southend, Brentwood, Basildon, Epping, Colchester on July 14, and Chelmsford.

In Colchester, the 5k race is being held again at Castle Park, and is one of more than 400 Race for Life events happening across the UK this year.

Megan Bailey, who manages the charity’s events in Essex, 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.

“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.”

Research is being funded for more than 200 types of cancer.

According to the charity, double the number of people survive it now than in the 1970s.

Claim your discount by clicking here.

The dates for the Essex races are:

  • Harlow 5k and 10k at Harlow Town Park - May 13
  • Southend 5k at Garon Park - May 19
  • Brentwood 5k and 10k at Weald Country Park - May 25
  • Basildon 5k, Pretty Muddy Kids and Pretty Muddy 5k - June 16
  • Epping 5k and 10k at North Weald Airfield - July 10 (7pm start)
  • Colchester 5k at Castle Park - July 14
  • Chelmsford 5k, Pretty Muddy Kids and Pretty Muddy 5k at Hylands Park - July 21.