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Olympians back Go Dad Run charity event

Colin Jackson (centre) with Prostate Cancer UK's head of events Andy Sallonow and deputy director of fundraising James Beeby Colin Jackson (centre) with Prostate Cancer UK's head of events Andy Sallonow and deputy director of fundraising James Beeby

Wednesday, May 28, 2014
9:00 AM

Trio lend support to prostate cancer

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GB Olympians Colin Jackson, Mark Foster and Jamie Baulch are backing the Sanlam Go Dad Runs on Father’s Day.

The 5k events are to raise awareness of men’s health and prostate cancer and take place at Crystal Palace Park, Cardiff and Birmingham on the weekend of June 14-15.

Former 110m hurdles world champion Jackson dreamt up the event, having seen his uncle suffer with the disease, and will launch the Cardiff race on June 14 (10.30am), before attending the Birmingham event 24 hours later.

Swimming great Foster will lead the London race on the same day and men can enter at godadrun.co.uk, for a fee of £15 for over 18s and £10 for 14 to 17-year-olds.

Participants receive t-shirts and medals, with the over-18s also sent a pair of special yellow underparts to wear as they run.

Prostate cancer affects 250,000 men across the UK each year and it is hoped the Sanlam Go Dad Run event will inspire in a similar way to the female-themed Race For Life.

Jackson said: “As a former athlete, my health is so important to me. I exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. But one thing that I can’t control is my risk of prostate cancer.

“One in eight men suffer from the disease, and as a black man, my risk of being diagnosed with it at some point in my life is one in four.

“What’s more, my risk is even higher because two of my uncles were previously confirmed with the disease, and it’s set to increase further still as I get older.

“Sadly one of my uncles died shortly after he was diagnosed as the cancer was too advanced. However, prostate cancer is often treatable if it’s caught early enough.

“Family has always been a massive part of my life and it’s great to see the Go Dad Run project gather momentum in its second year. Last year I piloted the event in Wales and ran it with my nephew and my own dad who is in his 80s

“Choosing a date for Go Dad Run was simple. I asked myself the question – which one day of the year is easy to remember and has a focus on men? Father’s Day of course! In the past I have been guilty of forgetting Father’s Day, and I know many of my friends do too! So not only will Go Dad Run highlight men’s health issues but the event will bring together families on Father’s Day.”

Reflecting on the location of the three events, the 47-year-old added: “The cities that I’ve chosen are all quite significant.

“First of all Cardiff is home. It’s where I was born and where my athletics was really started and developed,” he added. “Birmingham was where I ran my last professional race and I ran my very last outdoor race of my athletics career at Crystal Palace.

“For me, these are quite prominent venues, personally for me, even when you return to them. When I think what I’m bringing back to those areas it kind of gives me goose pimples a little bit. Because it’s something I have a drive and a passion for again. I just want people to enjoy it.”

Prostate Cancer UK Director of Fundraising, Mark Bishop, added: “We want to create a movement of men to fight a disease that affects 250,000 men across the UK each year – and look forward to seeing a sea of runners on the start line at the three Go Dad Run venues, not to mention some star names.

“Father’s Day is a key event on our calendar and can also serve as a poignant reminder of the importance of family. Prostate cancer affects fathers, grandfathers, uncles and sons – but also mums, grandmothers, sisters and daughters so getting behind an event like this can only help us combat this fearsome opponent.

“It’s not about winning or setting personal bests, it’s about running proudly and supporting each other as a family and uniting with men of all ages.”

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