Mum’s heartache as son banned from race

Banned: Claire Parker with her son Connor, aged seven, who has been banned from this year's Race for Life in Chesterfield.
Banned: Claire Parker with her son Connor, aged seven, who has been banned from this year's Race for Life in Chesterfield.
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A CANCER survivor has hit out at Race for Life bosses after her seven-year-old son was banned from running alongside her at this year’s Chesterfield event.

Claire Parker said her son Connor, a pupil at the town’s Holme Hall Primary School, took part in the women-only race last year.

However, Cancer Research UK has since changed the age limit and Connor is no longer eligible for the event in Chesterfield on Sunday, June 17.

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Claire, who has battled lymphoma, said: “It’s disgusting and discriminatory. We raced last year and no-one said anything about Connor. We’re talking about a seven-year-old who means the world to me. He was with me when my hair was falling out, he saw me being sick, having my injections – he’s been through it all with me and he’s given me that extra strength.

“Both Connor and I did the race last year and he spurred me on – there were lots of tears when we crossed the finished line. I just want him by my side in the race again so both of us can raise money to beat this devastating disease.”

Claire, of Capthorne Close, Chesterfield, has now started a petition at www.petitiononline.co.uk/petition/help-us-change-cancer-research-race-for-life-rules-to-let-our-boys-race/4321 in a bid to allow boys to race.

Nicki Embleton, for Cancer Research UK, said “We’re sorry Claire feels upset her son isn’t eligible to take part.

“Last year we trialled allowing boys under 11 to enter, but fewer than 150 took part in 280 events across the UK.

“As a result of this - and research which shows women are keen to keep Race for Life female-only - we have a clearer policy and only allow boys under five to participate.”

Race For Life events in our region will take place at: Chesterfield town centre, Sunday, June 17, 10.30am; Herringthorpe Stadium, Rotherham, Sunday, June 17, 11am; Town Fields, Doncaster, Sunday, June 24, 11am; Sheffield city centre - Sunday, July 15, 9am.

Sign up for Race for Life at raceforlife.org or call 0871 641 1111.

Entry costs £14.99 for adults and £10 for under-16s. The fee covers the costs of staging the event and means money raised in sponsorship can go straight to research.