South Africa’s most daring 5km run is back and ready to raise eyebrows while raising awareness of male cancers.
Men of all ages, shapes and sizes are called upon to help paint Jozi purple once again as the Hollard Daredevil Runreturns to the streets of Johannesburg on Friday 15 March 2019 to run cancer outta town. Kicking off at 15h00, the 5km fun run challenges the city’s bravest males to strip down to purple Speedos and run through the streets in the name of a good cause.
The “Run-not-a-race” encourages men of all ages, shapes and sizes to run five kilometres through peak hour traffic in an effort to drive awareness of the scourge of male cancers in South Africa. The act of stripping down to nothing but a Speedo is not only challenging for runners (and for some onlookers!) but also challenges stereotypes about male cancers, in the interests of starting conversations about understanding and lowering cancer risk, and encouraging early testing for prostate cancer.
This year, the Run will take place only at Zoo Lake Sports Club in Parkwood, Johannesburg, where the first Hollard Daredevil Run took place nine years ago.
“Our decision to bring the Hollard Daredevil Run home to its Jozi roots in 2019 is sure to cause some tears of disappointment among willing purple speedo wearers and spectators across the rest of the country. But reducing the number of runs has allowed us to reduce the costs associated with the event,” says Warwick Bloom, Group Marketing at Hollard. “By concentrating our efforts in one city again, we’re hoping to generate an even larger donation to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) and The Prostate Cancer Foundation, in aid of the amazing work both organisations do across the country.”
Early testing saves lives
According to global research, one in every six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, with over 60% of men being diagnosed over the age of 65.
“Age is just one factor,” says Prof Michael Herbst, Head of Health at CANSA. “For example, studies have shown that the risk among black men of being diagnosed with prostate cancer is around 60% higher than white men, while a history of cancer in a first degree relative also heightens a man’s chances of being diagnosed with the disease.”
Herbst goes on to point out that there are no symptoms in the early stages of prostate cancer, which makes getting tested regularly a non-negotiable for men over the age of 40. Healthcare professionals are able to perform a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test indicating whether there are any problems with the prostate, typically followed by a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) looking specifically for the presence of lumps and other irregularities in the prostate.
“This is a call to all men – regardless of age, ethnicity or even health status – to get tested from the age of 40 in order to pick up and treat the disease before it advances to a more life-threatening stage,” continues Prof Herbst.
“Our new guynae initiative, which encourages men to talk to their doctors about getting tested, also aims to make it easier for men to talk about the health of their intimate bits, just as women have been doing with their gynaes for decades,” adds Bloom.
Testicular cancer is indiscriminate in age: it occurs almost as often in teenagers as it does among men in their 50s, although it is most common among men in their 30s. Risk factors include having had an undescended testicle, having a family history of testicular cancer, breast cancer or melanoma, or prior trauma to the testicles.
Testicular cancer is much easier to screen for by completing a thorough self-examination, although blood tests and biopsies may be required to confirm diagnosis.
“Many men are scared to run in a Speedo, but the point of the run is to show that that’s nothing compared to being diagnosed with or affected by cancer,” Bloom says. “We’re challenging Joburg’s men to confront the disease head-on by showing that they’re not afraid to talk about it. At the end of the day, wearing that Speedo is a ‘walk in the park’ compared to fighting cancer.”
Men of all ages, shapes and Speedo-size are welcome to enter to participate in the Run. Runners are welcome to bring their loved ones and fans to cheer them on from the side-lines on the day, as participation in the run is restricted to men and boys. Donations in support of the cause can be made at www.daredevilrun.com/donate. For more information and to enter, please visit www.daredevilrun.com.