Sunderland’s Go Dad run hits the road

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Dozens of dads and kids donned outsized Y-fronts and hit the road to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

Silksworth Sports Centre hosted its second Go Dad Run event, with a choice of 5km and 10km courses.

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex, football referee Michael Oliver.

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex, football referee Michael Oliver.

Olympic silver medallist Colin Jackson, who created the event with sister Suzanne Packer, was joined by fellow world champion athlete Jamie Baulch and Sunderland footballing legend Kevin Ball to set the runners on their way and hand out the medals to finishers.

“Two of my uncles suffered from prostate cancer,” said Colin.

“The uncle who died was the one who did not tell anybody – the one who survived was the one who was happy to tell people, who got it sorted.

“I know how hard it can be for guys to talk about this sort of thing, and an event like this is to encourage people to do so.”

I know how hard it can be for guys to talk about this sort of thing, and an event like this is to encourage people to do so.

Colin Jackson

Many of those taking part in the run had personal experience of cancer and one man who is more than happy to talk is 59-year-old John Ruddick, from Gateshead.

John, who pushed nine-month-old grandson Jack Heron round the 5km course in his pushchair, said: “I am recovering from prostate cancer myself.

“They whisked me into the Freeman Hospital and removed it completely.

“I was given six months - that was two years ago.

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex, 5k winner Tony Allinson, with Colin Jackson.

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex, 5k winner Tony Allinson, with Colin Jackson.

“Since then, I tell every man I talk to to get it checked out. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”

First home in the 5km run was 43-year-old Tony Allinson, whose wife Gillian suffered from bowel cancer.

“I am very proud to be taking part today,” he said.

“It is a brilliant event.”

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex, Jamie Baulch and Colin Jackson.

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex, Jamie Baulch and Colin Jackson.

Little Thomas Johnson was celebrating his fourth birthday by taking part in the 5km run with dad Chris.

“My dad Alan has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer, so taking part today was a no-brainer,” said Chris,.

Among the runners was Premier League referee Michael Oliver, whose wife Lucy teaches at Sunderland College.

“It was really important to come along today,” he said.

“It is a very worthwhile cause and it is a local event as well.”

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex.

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex.

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex, young footballers from Plains Farm Blues FC.

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex, young footballers from Plains Farm Blues FC.

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex.

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex.

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex, 10k winner Michael Potter, with the Mayor of Sunderland Coun Alan Emerson and Colin Jackson.

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex, 10k winner Michael Potter, with the Mayor of Sunderland Coun Alan Emerson and Colin Jackson.

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex, John Ruddick.

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex, John Ruddick.

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex, Thomas Johnson on the shoulders of dad Chris.

Go Dad Run at Silksworth Sports Complex, Thomas Johnson on the shoulders of dad Chris.