A PLATOON of pink sprinters from Bicester Tesco will once again take on the fight to defeat cancer in the 2019 Race for Life.

But this year there is a twist: for the first time, Cancer Research UK is now accepting entries from everyone, regardless of gender, meaning the Tesco team will now also include men.

Tesco Bicester community champion Bryan Taunton has been a keen supporter from the sidelines, but said that this year he could not wait to join his team-mates in tackling the 5K fun run in Oxford on July 14.

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He said: “Tesco has supported Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life for the last 17 years.

"Last year I dressed up in a monkey costume and with the help of CRUK volunteers and the local Scout group, we raised over £1,300 [in store].

Bicester Advertiser:

“I have really enjoyed being able to help my colleagues in their fundraising efforts for Cancer Research UK. The charity is one that is especially close to my heart, as my sister who was diagnosed with breast cancer has recently been given the all clear.

“I always get asked is why men can’t take part in the Race for Life, so it’s great news that everyone will be welcome this year.

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“I am really looking forward to taking a more active role in the fundraising this year and running my first 5K.”

The Oxford Race for Life at University Parks on Sunday, July 14, will be open to everyone – all ages and abilities.

Bicester Advertiser:

Tesco Bicester will be supporting the event on the day as well as on April 5 and 6 when the store will ‘turn pink’ to encourage race sign-ups and donations.

Staff hope to support local primary schools to set up their own events.

Sophie Heath, Cancer Research UK’s Oxford event manager, said: “Our Race for Life events have been women-only since they started, over 25 years ago.

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“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.

“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.”

Sign up at raceforlife.org