Cheeky race cuts a dash in aid of charity

Cheeky: Ben and Louise at last year's event

Cheeky: Ben and Louise at last year's event

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Hundreds of cheeky Santas will flashing their ‘bums’ and dashing around the Guild Wheel to raise awareness of bowel cancer.

Marathon man Ben Ashworth, 37, was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in 2013 and was given six to 12 months to live. But his cancer stabilised and he has since completed 16 marathons, three ultra-marathons and the national Three Peaks cycle challenge. Now the dad-of-three from Broadgate, Preston, will test himself once again as he aims to run a 50-mile Santa dash for the second year in a row around Preston’s Guild Wheel.

The 200-plus participants are encouraged to run 5k with Ben and wear ‘Bum Shorts’, an awareness raising tool from charity Beating Bowel Cancer – one of three charities the dash is raising funds for.

Ben said: “The bum shorts are a fun way to get people talking about Bowel Cancer symptoms, as most of these have something to do with your bum.

“It takes away the taboo and with hopefully encourage people to speak up and see their doctor if they have any concerns.”

The dash starts at the Guild Wheel first mile marker in Avenham Park at 11am tomorrow and will also raise funds for charities Mummy’s Star and Rosemere Cancer Foundation. Ben’s wife, Louise, 32, said: “The Cheeky Santa Dash is an opportunity to join Ben and run 5k with him while raising money for charity and awareness of Bowel Cancer.”

St Stephen’s Community Choir will sing carols and the Mayor of Preston, Margaret McManus, will start the race. She said: “It’s an absolute honour to start the race. Ben is an inspiration for the people of Preston and everyone should be very proud. What he has achieved already is fantastic and I offer my very best wishes for his future.” To donate see: www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/cheekysantadash2015