FIVE MINUTES WITH: Lottie Young - Doncaster runner spells out her support for Prostate Cancer UK

Kicking off 2021 in style, over 10,000 runners, including Lottie Young from Doncaster, have gone the extra mile and taken part in Prostate Cancer UK’s new running challenge, Run the Month: Marathon Edition, so far raising over £2.2m to fund lifesaving research to stop the disease wrecking lives. 

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 1:37 pm

With the virtual challenge set to run 26.2 miles throughout January, Rossington-based Lottie, a ged 39, was inspired to take on the challenge after her dad Charles passed sadly away in December 2018 from a disease that affects around 400,000 men in the UK. 

Lottie hadn’t run for ten years before this event, but had previously taken part in Prostate Cancer UK’’s March the Month walking challenge, something she will be repeating in March.

She was proud to complete the run on Ja nuary 29, too, the date of her dad’s birthday, and her £115 fundraising took her total to £403 across the two events.

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Lottie Young and her dad

To add an exciting extra element to the challenge Lottie was inspired by one of her fellow runners, Carl Smith, via the 2,000-strong Facebook group to take on a running route which would spell out a letter making up phrases relating to the cause. 

Between them, team members created 'Men We Are With You', ‘Prostate Cancer UK’ and 'Run The Month'. 

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After Manchester-based Carl shared his idea at the start of the month, he was inundated with responses and letter requests from fellow participants unbeknown to him, across the UK.

Fundraising runner Lottie Young

Using running apps on their mobile phones, the team set to work with each letter spelled out in their local communities thanks to some hugely creative pavement-pounding – and an iconic image was created. 

Lottie opted to spell out the letter C, the first name of her father, also known by many as Pat, and herself (Charlotte), running in a crescent route on local roads.

The thriving social media community has since established friendships for life, all bonded by experiences of prostate cancer, with the army of runners sharing their successes, their hugely personal stories and spurring each other on during some darker moments. 

Lottie said: “Through Run the Month I wanted to raise awareness of prostate cancer, and money for Prostate Cancer UK, because I lost my dad to the disease on December 20, 2018.

Stepping out

" Sadly, my dad left it too late to see his GP and the cancer had already spread to his bones when it was finally diagnosed.

" I thought if I could save one more person from losing their dad like me then it would be worth it.

“Losing my dad and watching him suffer made me want to raise awareness.

"January is also my dad's birth month and from the start I wanted to make sure I completed the marathon on my dad's birthday (29th).

“My emotions were up and down. I was so happy to be making a difference and proud of what I was achieving but was sad because of why I was doing it.

" I knew my dad would be proud of me while probably thinking I'm a little crackers for running such a distance.”

On the Facebook group, Lottie added: “It has been amazing.

"Everyone is so friendly and supportive, no matter how experienced the runners were.

" I could count on the group for lots of running advice and tips too.

“I feel ecstatic to have been part of this challenge and thinking about how much was raised brings a tear to my eye.

" I was part of that.

"Hopefully, it will mean that one more person’s dad gets the treatment they need quicker meaning they won't lose them.”

Tracey Pritchard, Director of Fundraising & Supporter Engagement at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “We’re incredibly proud that Lottie joined our team of remarkable runners in Run the Month: Marathon edition, in January.

Prostate cancer is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, and the Covid-19 pandemic has made living with a diagnosis only harder.   

“The participants, including Lottie, have well and truly shown how families, friends and communities can work together, locally and across the UK to help save lives – especially during a difficult period.

“Hard times show what people stand for.

" When the future is uncertain and the choices are tough, we stand for men with prostate cancer. We thank Lottiefor all her incredible efforts and hope she can now enjoy a well-earned rest!”  

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscripti on or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.