Cheeky Santas race to raise awareness

Graham Brook, Kerrie McNeill, Sharon Bowie and Bob Hudson ready to race

Graham Brook, Kerrie McNeill, Sharon Bowie and Bob Hudson ready to race

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On your marks, get set... ho ho ho!

Racers took part in a Santa dash with a difference, showing their cheeky side to raise cash for good causes.

Ben Ashworth with Louise Ashworth and children Skye, 12, Isobel, 7 and Heidi, 4.

Ben Ashworth with Louise Ashworth and children Skye, 12, Isobel, 7 and Heidi, 4.

More than 100 runners were in Avenham Park for the Cheeky Santa Dash.

The festive 5km event was organised by Ben Ashworth and his charity Ben's Bowel Movements which works to raise awareness of bowel cancer.

Ben is a terminal bowel cancer patient who has completed more than two dozen marathons and ultra-marathons in recent years.

He spent several weeks in hospital earlier this year and was delighted to see the event, raising funds for Beating Bowel Cancer, Mummy's Star and Rosemere Cancer Foundation, take place.

Ben said: "We only had two or three weeks to organise everything this year so it's brilliant we were able to bring it all together.

"They found I had a new tumour on my liver this year and I had to have an 11 hour operation, I was in intensive care for five weeks.

"Time was limited but I'm so glad we were able to get the event running again."

Racers not only had the option of wearing the traditional Santa suit but also a pair of special 'bum' shorts.

Ben said: "It's so funny, we've got people running around Avenham Park in fake plastic bottoms.

"But there's a serious side to it.

"If we can make people think about bowel cancer then we'll have done our job.

"If through this event we can stop even one family going through what we have it will have been worth it.

"It's good that people are willing to do something daft.

"If you're willing to feel daft running around in these shorts then you might be more willing to go to see your doctor when you feel daft about your symptoms.