Preston marathon man Ben Ashworth is limbering up for an ultra-marathon challenge.Advertisement
Ashworth, who has been diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer, runs 45 miles which is twice round the Guild Wheel.
The route is usually cycled but Ashworth is running it to continue raising money for bowel cancer charities.
He said: “When the Preston Guild Wheel opened almost two and a half years I’d just about recovered from one surgery before having my first course of chemo and then going under the knife again. It was tough time and a lot passed me by that year. I missed the Preston Guild celebrations, because I was too ill, so the Guild Wheel Challenge is really important to me.”
“Since I started running the marathons my wife and I have become friends with Heather Atkins, daughter of Mike Atkins, who co-founded the Guild Wheel, but sadly died from bowel cancer months after it opened. Knowing Heather and being aware of her father’s role in the creation of the Guild Wheel makes this challenge even more special.”
As well as his personal challenge he’s asking Prestonians to join him on 5k of the route as he starts the second lap in Avenham Park.
Named the Cheeky Santa Dash anyone taking part gets a pair of comedy bum pants to wear as they run along, as well as a Santa hat and beard.
Ashworth’s wife Louise is organising the dash.
She said: “The bum pants are a great way of raising awareness. When we have run in them at other events everyone wants to know who we are running for. Bowel Cancer symptoms are something that many people find difficult to discuss, this is a fun way of raising the issue without it being a taboo subject”.
“When Ben told me he wanted to run twice around the guild wheel I thought it would give him such a morale boost if he could run over the hill in the park and be greeted by as many people as possible, all wearing bum pants.”
The run takes place on Saturday and you can register online for the Cheeky Santa Dash or sponsor Ben who has now raised more than £18,000 for charity.
Will you be doing the cheeky dash? Let us know in the comments below