Cheeky Santa Dash returning to Avenham Park this weekend

Posted on - 29th November, 2021 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Preston News, Proud Preston
Louise and her late husband Ben

Runners and joggers across Preston and Lancashire are being asked to sign up to Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s Avenham Park ‘Cheeky Santa Dash’ next Saturday (December 4).


The 5K dash, which is run from under the railway arches opposite the Continental pub, is returning as a group event after Covid-19 restrictions forced it to go virtual.

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This year’s dash will be the eighth and will be run in partnership with the Central Lancs Running & Triathlon Club (CLAN), which means entrants affiliated to running and athletics clubs will pay a reduced entry fee of £8.

Read more: In pictures: Preston Christmas Lights Switch On 2021 

Non affiliated entrants will pay £10 but everyone will be given an officially logged finish time, a medal and post-race refreshments.


Official dash starter is Louise Harlow, who along with late husband Ben Ashworth, founded the event.

Ben ran the dash three times before losing his fight against bowel cancer in the summer of 2017 aged just 38-years-old.

Along with running 24 post diagnosis marathons, Ben used the dash to raise more than £40,000 for various cancer charities, among them Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

Louise is also a veteran dash runner but having remarried just before the first lockdown and given birth to new daughter Frankie just five and a half months ago, she is not running this time.

Louise and baby Frankie

Mum-of-three Louise, who is currently on maternity leave from her job as a fundraiser for Mummy’s Star, a national charity that supports families diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy or within a year of giving birth, said: “With everything that has gone on this year, I just haven’t had time to train but myself and the girls wouldn’t miss a chance to be involved with the dash.
“I am delighted to be setting the runners off. The dash is always an emotional event for us and a wonderful way for the community to remember Ben and other loved ones lost.

“I had some very strange emotions when pregnant with Frankie as I was also pregnant when Ben was first diagnosed. We had wonderful support from Rosemere Cancer Foundation and other charities, and as a family we know how important the work that they do is and what a difference it makes.” 

The dash starts at 11am. Festive fashion is encouraged but not mandatory.

To register, go to

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Will you be taking part? Let us know in the comments below.

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