The Cookridge Community 10k and Fun Run were created in honour of Gareth Dunn, a sportsman who trained for the Paralympics in Golden Acre Park before he died in October 2018 of secondary cancer of the lungs. It was in the same park that fundraisers lined up for the 2023 edition of the event on Sunday.
Before his death, Gareth had raised £120,000 for Cancer Research UK to help fund research. His family and friends have organised the run each year since using the same route Gareth would take and have continued to raise money for the cause in his name.
This year’s run, sponsored by local businesses including Bannatynes and Ivory Dental in Horsforth, has raised around £12,000. It takes the total raised in Gareth’s name to £200,000. Lee Dunn, Gareth’s father, said: “I am sure he would be happy that we have taken on his mantle, run with it and hit this impressive milestone.”
Lee also expressed his gratitude towards everyone who helped organise the event – including Gareth’s mum, April; brother, Rhys, and friend David Smart. He added: “Without their efforts this community-based event just wouldn’t happen. It takes a lot of organisation and planning to coordinate a 10k run, particularly around one of north Leeds favourite parks, and I know Gareth would be proud of all their hard work and persistence.
“I was particularly heartened to hear the Prince of Wales, during the Coronation, refer to the strength, diversity and character of communities up and down the UK, and I feel the Cookridge Community runs epitomise that ethos.”
Find out more on the Community Cookridge 10k and Fun Run website.