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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Barrow motorcycle ride raises prostate awareness

A GROUP of local motorcycle enthusiasts braved the wet weather to raise money and awareness about a condition that will affect one-in-nine men.

The Great Willy Run saw about 25 riders set off from Stollers Furniture World in Barrow and complete a 170-mile ride through Cumbria, Lancashire and North Yorkshire.

Organiser Alan Rothery, of Dalton, conceived the annual event nine years ago as a way to bring attention to prostate cancer and its impact on men.

Since then, it has raised thousands of pounds for the charity Prostate Cancer UK, which offers both support to sufferers and donates money towards researching the dreaded disease.

Mr Rothery, 58, who works on the urology ward at Furness General Hospital, said despite numbers being down this year, the ride had still raised more than £400.

“I was maybe a little bit disappointed in the number of bikes that turned up, but that was down to the weather,” he said.

“It was wet, but it was not that wet and it actually got better as the day went on. It turned out to be a really nice ride.”

Mr Rothery said when he first committed to organising the event, many of his male friends had no idea where the prostate was or what it did – hence the ride’s name.

“There was a guy who was in one of the bike clubs I was in and it was only because I got this ride set up and running that he went down for a check-up,” he said.

“It turned out he had this silent strain of prostate cancer and although he lost his prostate, he’s still with us.

“So it’s nice that something good has come from it.”

The event was held on Sunday. Mr Rothery said he wanted to thank all those who both participated in and marshalled the ride, as well as Furness Rotary, Martin Crooks of Crooks Suzuki, Dave Stoller of Stollers Furniture World and the Barrow branch of Barclays bank, for their support.

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