Olympic hero Jackson urges families to sign up for Crystal Palace race

News Shopper: Colin Jackson Colin Jackson

Crystal Palace Park will play host to an exciting charity running event on Father’s Day (June 15, 10.30am) to help raise awareness of men’s health and prostate cancer.

Spearheaded by Team GB Olympians Colin Jackson CBE, Mark Foster and Jamie Baulch, the Sanlam Go Dad Runs are a series of 5K events for men and boys aged 14 and over.

They are the brainchild of former 110m hurdles world champion and world record holder Jackson, whose uncle suffered with the deadly disease.

After a successful pilot in Anglesey last year, the inaugural national event will be bigger and better with three major cities hosting the runs and men’s health awareness at the forefront.

Participants will all receive t-shirts and medals when they cross the finishing line and those aged 18 and over will be sent a pair of special yellow underpants to wear as they run.

With prostate cancer affecting 250,000 men across the UK each year, the run will pull together fathers, sons, uncles, step-fathers, brothers, neighbours, friends, nephews and grandfathers in an invent inspired by the success of the female-themed Race For Life.

But it will also be a family day out across the three venues with vocal crowds encouraged to cheer on the raft of runners, many of whom will be in fancy dress and all wearing the event’s iconic yellow Y-fronts.

Jackson said: “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.”

He added: “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.

News Shopper: Prostate Cancer UK head of events Andy Sallnow, Colin Jackson and deputy director of fundraising James Beeby

“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.”

Prostate Cancer UK director of fundraising Mark Bishop is echoing Jackson’s call for families to sign up for the event.

He said: “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.

“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.”

Men can enter via godadrun.co.uk and the event costs £15 for those 18-and-over and £10 for those aged between 14 and 17.

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