No mo required for a man on a mission
Ian Jones in training, sans moustache. Photo: Ken Irwin
IAN Jones will be running incognito in the City2Sea next month.
The Movember Foundation, which raised $124 million globally for men's health last year, is City2Sea's official charity partner. It's also close to Mr Jones' heart, but his intense dislike of facial hair means he'll be running as a clean-shaven Mo Bro.
Last year, Mr Jones was driving to his first fun run, Run Melbourne, with his father, Robert. ''I was in the car talking with Dad, excited about it, and then he tells me that he's got prostate cancer. That was a shock,'' he said.
''This year I thought, what can I do that will be different to last year? That's why I said to Movember to include me in their fund-raising.''
Prostrate cancer, along with male depression, is one of Movember's main fund-raising priorities in Australia, and for good reason. Nearly 3300 Australian men die annually of prostate cancer, which exceeds the number of women who die from breast cancer. Around 20,000 new cases are diagnosed in Australia every year and one in nine men in Australia will develop prostate cancer.
''I was in a bit of shock,'' said Mr Jones, 43, of Sunbury.
''The operation went well, he had his prostate removed, but it was all the complications after that.
''That was a huge learning curve - all the things that can go wrong. When something does go wrong you panic. In the case of my dad, the fluid burst from out of his belly.''
His father, now 67, survived, but Mr Jones is determined to do what he can to stop the disease. ''I'm trying to raise as much as I can. Anything that we can get,'' he said.
The running part is no problem for Mr Jones, a salesman. He's been running for two years and he loves it. ''It's fun,'' he said. ''I wanted to get my fitness back and lose weight. I try to run 20 to 30 kilometres per week. My goal was to do a marathon by the end of the year, but I had some injuries so that will be my goal for next year.''
You don't have to be male to raise money for Movember at City2Sea, or even a good runner for that matter. Susie Roczo-Farkas, 25, of Melbourne, took two hours, 20 minutes to do the 14-kilometre course last year.
''I didn't care about the time,'' she said. ''I didn't train last year when I did it. I didn't do the best time in the world, but I did it.''
A scientific researcher, Ms Roczo-Farkas said her work at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute had shown her the dangers of prostate cancer so Movember was a natural fund-raising choice. She'll also raise funds for Guide Dogs Victoria.
Movember chief operating officer Jason Hincks said Movember had broken the previous year's fund-raising effort every year since the foundation was started in 2004, and 2012 was shaping up to be no different.
Last year 854,000 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas globally raised more than $124 million, he said. ''We'd be very happy to see the global participation figure move over the 1 million Mo mark,'' he said.
Mr Hincks said Movember was hoping for big growth in the United States and Asia. ''My dark horse for this year is that we're going to see the US campaign really increase, and it's the first time we're officially campaigning in Asia - Hong Kong and Singapore. We're hoping for a good result.''
He said Movember was planning to do its own November fun run, but the City2Sea had removed that need. ''It was really humbling last year to see the number of moustaches running in the event,'' he said.
■For further details on The Sunday Age City2Sea, presented by Westpac and held on November 11, visit thecity2sea.com.au