Cookridge Community Run to return in memory of inspirational Gareth Dunn

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The second annual Cookridge Community Run is to take place in memory of an inspirational Leeds man who raised more than £120,000 for Cancer Research UK while battling terminal cancer.

Gareth Dunn, from Cookridge, passed away aged 27 from secondary cancer of the lungs in October 2018. Gareth was previously 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.

Despite his adversities, Gareth was an active sportsman and made the most of every opportunity given to him. 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. He often trained around Golden Acre Park – a few minutes from his home in Cookridge, which featured in the inaugural Cookridge Community Run in May 2019 as part of his legacy.

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The run was set up by the Dunn family and Leeds Trinity alumnus David Smart, to celebrate Gareth’s inspirational life and continue his fundraising efforts. 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 and isolation amongst old people.

Gareth DunnGareth Dunn
Gareth Dunn

The 2020 Cookridge Community Run will take place on Sunday, May 17, with support from Leeds Trinity University. Up to 500 runners are expected to take part in this year’s 10k adult run and children’s fun run, raising money for charity and celebrating Gareth’s inspirational life.

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David Smart added: “I am over the moon that we have the support of Leeds Trinity University for the Cookridge Community Run 2020. Gareth would be proud that the run has been established to continue his fundraising efforts for Sarcoma research and is also helping the local community. My hope is that the run will grow year on year and continue the great work Gareth started.”

David and the Dunn family are also encouraging people to get involved as race marshals, car park attendants, first aid assistants and volunteers, and would love to see members of the community come along to cheer on the runners. Leeds Trinity students completing their professional work placements with Cancer Research UK and OPAL will also be involved in the marketing, publicity and planning of the run.

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Brett Arnall, alumni relations officer at Leeds Trinity University, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Leeds Trinity alumnus David, and are so proud of his work with the Dunn family to make the Cookridge Community Run a success. We hope that our staff, student and alumni community participate in this year’s fantastic event by running, volunteering, and cheering the runners on, all to raise money for two very worthy charities in memory of the inspirational Gareth Dunn.”

Gareth raised more than £120,000 in just over a year for Cancer Research UK, specifically for Sarcoma research to help people in his situation in the future.

This year’s main event sponsors include Bannatyne’s Health Club and Ivory Dental in Horsforth. If you would like to support, or participate in the run, then visit details for more information.