Runners will stride and run for medical research in the 2019 Beachside Dash

Figure of health: Jason Nightingale is this year's ambassador for the Beachside Dash, which raises money for the St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation. Picture: John Veage
Figure of health: Jason Nightingale is this year's ambassador for the Beachside Dash, which raises money for the St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation. Picture: John Veage

There is plenty of time left to register for this year's major community fundraiser in St George, the Beachside Dash. But the the first steps forward have already been taken to make 2019 the best year yet.

Fronting the campaign is former NRL player Jason Nightingale, who will take time away from his coffee shop, Flow Espresso at Kogarah, to make a run for it.

The Dragons star spent 12 seasons at St George Illawarra where he was part of the 2010 premiership-winning team. Now he will add another challenge to his name.

Supported by St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation, the dash is back for the 12th time, taking in the sights and sounds of the sea on Sunday, September 8.

Starting and finishing in Peter Depena Park, Sans Souci, the event takes in the beautiful views of Dolls Point and Brighton-Le-Sands, where the community will #RUNFORRESEARCH.

Running for research: The Beachside Dash brings together participants along a backdrop of pines and the seaside.

Running for research: The Beachside Dash brings together participants along a backdrop of pines and the seaside.

Nightingale will run for research in the two kilometre event, with his daughter, age 3.

"I'm really excited to be an ambassador this year," he said. "It's an important event raising funds for medical research in our local hospitals and it's a fun family event."

"The dash as something for everyone. You've got the professional runners that do it, you've got corporate teams, you've got families, you've got kids, you've got doctors and researchers from the hospitals and you've got amazing group of volunteer and sponsors who are there to support the cause."

The family friendly dash will consist of two, five and 10 kilometres distances, so there will be something for kids, walkers, joggers and runners.

Funds raised from the annual event will support many of the vital research programs being run by the foundation.

One of those is to support bowel cancer research. Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in Australia and it has the second highest death rate.

Researchers at St George Hospital are working on the microbiome and how the bugs in the gut contribute to the development of the disease.

Last year's event raised $60,000 and the bar has been set for another impressive target - to beat the 2018 one.

There will also be free kids' activities including the St George Bank jumping castle, a rock-climbing wall and face painting.

Early-bird registrations are open until July 31.

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