Cookridge Community Run 2021 in memory of inspirational sportsman Gareth Dunn

The dad of an inspirational Leeds sportsman who raised more than £120,000 while battling terminal cancer said his fundraising legacy will continue when the second annual Cookridge Community Run takes place this summer.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 4:45 am
Updated Friday, 21st May 2021, 6:26 pm
Gareth Dunn

Up to 500 runners are due to take part in the 10K trail race and one mile fun run in and around Golden Acre Park on Sunday July 11 in memory of Gareth Dunn.

Gareth, from Cookridge, died aged 27 from secondary cancer of the lungs in October 2018.

The inaugural Cookridge Community Run in May 2019 was set up by the Dunn family and Gareth's friend David Smart, to celebrate Gareth’s inspirational life and continue his fundraising efforts.

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Runners in the he first 10K Cookridge Community run in Gareth Dunn's memory in May 2019. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

The event raised £10,000 for Cancer Research UK and Older People’s Action in the Locality (OPAL), to support funding for Sarcoma research and OPAL’s mission to reduce loneliness among old people.

The 2020 run planned for May was cancelled due to Covid and this year's event has been shifted to July when restrictions will hopefully have been eased.

Before the 2018 secondary cancer diagnosis, Gareth had been diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma in his foot, a rare and aggressive form of cancer, which led to his right leg being amputated from the knee down.

Gareth was an active sportsman and continued to make the most of every opportunity given to him.

Gareth Dunn pictured with his mum April in July 2017

He had been selected to train across five disciplines with the British Paralympic squad ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and ran the London Marathon in 2018.

Gareth's dad Lee Dunn, 63, of Farsley, said Gareth's fundraising legacy has continued and more than £150,000 has now been donated to Cancer Research UK in his memory.

Lee said: "Gareth was a larger than life character and I think he would have been very proud that we are continuing to raise funds for cancer research."

This year the main run sponsors are Bannatyne Health Club, Cookridge and Ivory Dental.

Runners in the he first 10K Cookridge Community run in Gareth Dunn's memory May 2019. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Jez Howarth, general manager at Bannatyne in Cookridge, said: "Bannatyne's is incredibly proud to support such a great cause."

a spokesperson for Ivory Dental, said: "Here at Ivory Dental we like to be a part of our surrounding communities to help and support them.

"With the Cookridge Community run, we know the family well at the practice and want to be a part of raising awareness for the cause."

The one mile fun run starts at 9am and the 10K trail race starts at 9.30am on Sunday July 11.

Both races start and finish at Cookridge Village Scout Hall on Pinfold Lane, off Otley Road, Cookridge.

The race organisers are looking for people to get involved as race marshals, car park attendants, first aid assistants and volunteers.

To sign up as a runner, to sponsor the event or to get involved as a volunteer, go to www.cookridgecommunityrun.co.ukTo donate to Cancer Research UK via Gareth's fundraising page, go to: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chemotionally-unstable