Cheeky Santa Dash back with a bang

Preston's 'cheekiest' fun run was back and bigger than ever this weekend, held in honour of brave cancer campaigner Ben Ashworth.

Saturday, 9th December 2017, 2:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:03 pm
Runners show off their 'bums'. Photo: Kathryn at Beat Bowel Cancer.

Ben, who sadly passed away in July after a long battle with bowel cancer, left behind an awe-inspiring legacy includeing the Cheeky Santa Dash, one of the Preston's most popular festive fun runs.

The 5km race, where runners dress up in Santa costumes and wear shorts with fake plastic bums attached, was held in Avenham Park on Saturday (December 9) after being organised by Ben's wife, Louise, from Preston, who wanted to keep the event going in Ben's honour.

Proceeds raised at the event - which Louise estimates to be at least £2,500 - will go to charity Beating Bowel Cancer.

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Speaking to the Post after the race, Louise said: "It was a really fab day with around 250 people turning out to take part."

But it was squeaky bum time this morning after Arctic weather descended upon Lancashire over night.

Louise said: "There was a moment at about quarter past 10 that I was worried but thankfully it turned out fine in the end.

"The sun even came out when we were crossing the finish line. It was lovely."

Photo: Kathryn at Beat Bowel Cancer.

Among those taking part was television presenter Matthew Wright, who knew Ben through the charity and who himself has lost members of his family to bowel cancer.

Taking to social media before the run, Matthew said: "Preston here I come - running shoes on! Doing it for Ben Ashworth to help beat bowel cancer."

Speaking to the Post in October, Louise said: "The Cheeky Santa Dash started as one of those crazy ideas that hits you late at night.

"The hope was to bring together our family’s love of Christmas, passion for raising awareness and commitment to generating essential funds. Now in its fourth year, I’m amazed and humbled by everyone’s support."

Photo: Kathryn at Beat Bowel Cancer.

The 34-year-old added: "After Ben died in July I knew this year’s event would be even more special. I wanted to make this year’s Cheeky Santa Dash even bigger for Ben.

"I want to celebrate what he had achieved and it is a great opportunity to highlight the reasons we started this in the first place.

"This is an opportunity to join in his lust for life, encourage others to exercise and, of course, check your poo.