Why I created Go Dad Run, by Colin Jackson, CBE

Throughout my long athletics career it became second nature for me to listen to my body and regularly check it for illness or break down, but we know that the vast majority of men fail to do this.

Sometimes this is due to embarrassment, often because of a lack of knowledge or even a misplaced macho attitude that resists going to see a doctor!

A few years ago two of my uncles developed prostate cancer and although one responded to treatment and is now fit and well again the other was less fortunate and, sadly, passed away. That prompted me to find out more information about the illness and I was shocked to discover that whilst 1 in 8 men in the UK will develop prostate cancer, that actually rises to 1 in 4 men from an African Caribbean background.

I’d long been inspired by the amazing success of Race For Life and, with my actress sister Suzanne Packer, decided to create an event specifically for men that would raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK and just as importantly, help create additional awareness of the condition and that led directly to the creation of Go Dad Run.

Following the success of our inaugural Father's Day 5K in Llangefni in 2013 we staged 3 events in 2014 and 6 in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

And as Go Dad Run evolved we decided to also expand the group of charities we supported with a specific focus on areas that men are often so relunctant to talk or think about and where undiagnosed problems and symptoms can potentially have serious consequences for them in the long run.

Prostate Cancer UK were our lead charity partner but we are very pleased that we've also worked closely with Orchid, who specialise in supporting men with prostate, penile and testicular cancer, Bowel Cancer UK and the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)

By bringing together dads and sons, brothers and cousins, neighbours, workmates and friends who were willing to get involved in a run and play their part in getting men to think about their minds and bodies we hope that we had a positive effect on their lives and health.

We had some terrific sponsors and partners and Suzanne and I are especially grateful to all at Sanlam UK for their support as our headline sponsor and to our friends at Big Yellow Self Storage, PUMA, Lilly UK, Everyone Active, Sony, TIMEX, the venues, councils, Fix Events and all our great volunteers and supporters as well as the six local charities we worked with in 2017.

A number of factors have meant that Go Dad Run came to an end after the 2017 events, but we are looking forward to announcing a major new health project that has been inspired by the personal stories of the runners and their friends and families.

For me, the most important thing has been to get men of all ages to come together to think about their health and have a great experience with their family and friends as well as raising funds for such an important group of charities and we hope that many of those who took part in Go Dad Run will continue to support them in the future.


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