Getting into your undies in front of thousands of people may seem a but daunting, but when it is for such a good cause you will jump at the opportunity! Join thousands when they strip down to their tightie whities and run to raise money and awareness for bowel cancer.
In 2016 The Biggest Loser’s Shannan Ponton is coming to Adelaide as he heads the ambassadors for the run.
During his 20-year career, celebrity trainer of TBL Families, Shannan Ponton, has developed and delivered innovative personal training, fitness, motivational and general life solutions to hundreds. Now, he hopes to motivate thousands to join him in bravely baring their underwear as the 2016 People’s Choice Undies Run for Bowel Cancer ambassador.
“I have been on The Biggest Loser for ten years now, so as a result of having an increased public profile, Undies Runs in public have been out of the equation for me – until now,” Shannan said.
“Joining the People’s Choice Undies Run for Bowel Cancer gives me a chance to strut my stuff, unhindered by trousers, with a couple-of-thousand mates!“ he laughed.
The fun run with a cheeky difference on 17 January 2016 will see 100,000 spectators, a ready-made 1.7km racing arena and around 1,500 runners decked out in matching underwear raising awareness and funds to fight bowel cancer. Since its inception, the People’s Choice Undies Run for Bowel Cancer has raised $440,000, and registrations for the 2016 event opened online at undiesrun.com.au last month.
Shannan returned to series 10 of Network Ten’s TBL Families as a fitness trainer and mentor in 2015, and is the most successful The Biggest Loser trainer in the history of the show, having trained five of the series’ winners so far. But Shannan knows that no matter how well you look after yourself, around 4,000 Australians die from bowel cancer each year.
“Cancer is the only thing in this world that still scares the hell out of me. It’s such an indiscriminate bastard of a disease,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how fit, thin, tall, fat or old you are, it can still ravage you.”
With a family history of bowel cancer, Shannan knows that vigilance and early detection are the keys to survival.
“My grandfather passed away when I was only six years old, from bowel cancer – he put up with symptoms for years. But unfortunately, ignorance is not bliss when it comes to ‘the Big C,’” he said.
“My father had polyps removed at an early age and is now super-regular with colonoscopies. I have no doubt that finding the abnormalities early has extended his life, and I intend to follow his lead.”
Early detection and treatment can significantly increase the chances of surviving bowel cancer, with up to 90% of cases deemed treatable if detected early.
“After a Melanoma scare, I decided to undertake every test necessary and encourage others to do the same – that’s what the Undies Run is all about.”
The purpose of the event is to raise funds for Cancer Council SA for ground-breaking research, vital support services, to raise awareness of life-saving early detection bowel screening kits, and to ultimately reduce the spread and impact of Australia’s second-biggest cancer killer. The Undies Run challenges people to strip down to their underwear for a run in the heart of Adelaide, to highlight that a screening test is no more embarrassing than running around a track in your underwear.
“I had my first bowel screen test done when I turned 40. With a young family, I want to take every precaution I can to live a long, healthy and active life.”
“The test is remarkably painless, if not a little embarrassing. Basically, you wipe a stick on your poo and post it off. It could save your life.”
Fellow 2016 Undies Run ambassadors helping Shannan spread the message of early detection, helping to rally participants and raise funds include Olympic marathon runner Jess Trengove, and former Adelaide Crows Premiership Captain and FIVEaa host Mark Bickley – each with families touched by bowel cancer. Other celebrities getting behind the Undies Run in 2010 include Port Adelaide Football Club forward Jay Schulz, Adelaide United Striker Bruce Djite, Olympic Beach Volleyballer Becchara Palmer and Olympic Diver Rachel Bugg.
What: 2016 People’s Choice Undies Run for Bowel Cancer
When: 5:00pm on Sunday, 17 January 2016
Where: Rymill Park, Adelaide,
South Australia Register: undiesrun.com.au