5K Your Way, Move Against Cancer

Local nurse with incurable cancer to get support group with a difference up and running.

People living with and beyond cancer in the Hampshire area are being encouraged to get active as part of a new support group launching in Lee-On-The-Solent on the 30th March 2019. The group invites those living with and beyond cancer, their families, friends and those working in cancer services to walk, jog, run, cheer or volunteer at a local parkrun event on the last Saturday of every month.

Physical activity has been shown to have a number of important benefits for people living with cancer. It reduces cancer related fatigue, helps to preserve cardio respiratory and muscular fitness and improves psychological well-being. It may also reduce treatment side effects, reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and prolong survival. However, despite these benefits, an NHS report found that only 23% of people living with cancer achieve the recommended 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 times per week. Parkrun, a free weekly event in which participants walk, jog or run 5k, offers one opportunity for people to become more active.

Local nurse and university lecturer Sue Rourke, 46, was originally diagnosed with kidney cancer in November 2018, before learning it had spread and become incurable in February 2019. Having been an avid parkrun participant she was thrilled to learn of 5K Your Way, Move Against Cancer, a national initiative which combines a cancer support group with parkrun. Founded by Lucy Gossage and Gemma Hillier-Moses, there are currently 5K Your Way events at 12 locations in the UK and 3 in the Republic of Ireland, however the event at Lee-On-The-Solent will be the first in Hampshire and the South Coast. At the event, to be held on the last Saturday of every month, the group, led by Sue, will participate in the Lee-On-The-Solent parkrun either by walking, jogging or spectating before socializing over a drink and cake in a local cafe.

Sue, who took up running in 2016 and completed a marathon in 2018 said ‘Being diagnosed with incurable cancer was devastating and terrifying. Setting up the 5K Your Way event here in Lee-On-The-Solent has allowed me to reach out to others in a similar situation so we can support one another, build friendships and enjoy the physical and social benefits of parkrun.’

Those interested in joining the event are encouraged to register on the parkrun website,http://www.parkrun.org.uk/ and print your unique barcode number out and bring it with you,  before meeting at 08:40 on the 30th March 2019 at the Coastwatch hut, Beach Road car park, Marine Parade East, Lee-on-the-Solent, PO13 9BP. For further information contact Sue Rourke on lots.5kyourway@gmail.com