A running group will take on 12 park runs in one day to support pregnant women through cancer in memory of fellow runner Ben Ashworth who died two years ago.
A team of 20 from Riversway Road Runners will run a total of 38 miles and drive 200 miles on August 31 for Mummy’s Star, the only UK charity dedicated to women and their families impacted by cancer both during pregnancy and shortly after birth.
Although a national charity, Louise Harlow, engagement and fund-raising coordinator, is from Preston.
During her second pregnancy in 2012, her husband, Ben Ashworth, was diagnosed with bowel cancer. They were active fund-raisers and advocates of multiple cancer charities until Ben died in July 2017, aged 38.
Riversway Road Runners, which has been together for 11 years, chose to support Mummy’s Star after organiser and runner Marc Potter reached out to the charity following a member’s suggestion and discovered a connection to Louise and Ben, someone he had run with in the past.
Many club members found a personal connection to the charity through the couple’s story and their work.
Marc said: “The club was really touched and motivated following a visit from Louise where she introduced the charity to us in detail. “We are pleased to be able to fund-raise for such a valuable charity where donations are so greatly appreciated.”
After training around their normal schedules, including lunch-break runs, the group will follow each park run route, taking a mini bus between locations.
Marc added: “The runners are encouraged by the great support of many of the parks involved to raise awareness of the charity through the challenge.
The runners will meet in Preston at 5am on Saturday, August 31, before heading to the park runs across Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales, and back via Manchester with hopes to finish in Preston at around 9.30pm.
The order of runs begins in St Helens at 6.15am, then continues in Widnes at 7.30am; Phoenix Official Run, Runcorn, at 9am; Delamere at 10.20am; Chester at 11.40am; Wepre in Deeside, at 1.10pm; Ellesmere Port at 2.30pm; Warrington at 3.50pm; Pennington Flash, Leigh, at 5.20pm; Worsley Woods, Salford, at 6.40pm; and Haigh Woodland, Wigan, at 8pm, finishing in Preston at 9.15pm.
Marc added: “All donations and messages of support are welcomed and appreciated. If you run at any of these park runs and can help guide us or want to come and show support, we would love to hear from you.”
You can donate to the Riversway Road Runners Mummy’s Star run via www.justgiving.com/campaign/rrr-supportmummysstar.
If you wish to join the club, which is open to anyone, contact them via Facebook or head down to DW Gym on Preston Docks on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.