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’ve long been inspired by the amazing success of Race For Life and 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 2104 and 6 in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
And as Go Dad Run has evolved we've decided to also expand the group of charities we support and focus specifically 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 have been our lead charity partner and 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 are 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 can have a positive effect on their lives and health.
Since launching Go Dad Run I have been overwhelmed by the personal stories of the runners and their friends and families and that is all the motivation that we need to keep growing and raising money and awareness.
We have had some terrific sponsors and partners and I am especially grateful to all at Sanlam UK for their support as our headline sponsor for a fourth year and to our friends at Big Yellow Self Storage, PUMA, Everyone Active, Sony, TIMEX, the venues, Fix Events and all our great volunteers and supporters as well as the six local charities we worked with in 2017.
Because of pre-existing commitments we have decided to rest the project and not stage any runs in 2018 but will be back in 2019 and will let you know details of that as soon as everything is confirmed.
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 I hope that you would like to sign up and become part of the Go Dad Run team when we return in 2019!