The Night Runners: summer edition

Willpower Running & Spot the Dot team up to raise skin cancer awareness among runners worldwide.

Dermatologists state that runners, as well as other outdoor athletes, have an increased risk of developing skin cancer. Many people don’t take measures to prevent skin cancer and don’t check changes on their skin, while early detection can be crucial.  Together with Willpower, a running clothing brand, we proudly launch the  ”The Night Runners” campaign, including a collection of running shirts. Filmmaker Manuel Peric went out into the mountains to capture the poetic mood of the night runner.

“The night runners” collection

10€ of every sold “The Night Belongs To Runners” shirt will go to Spot the Dot to support their fight against skin cancer. The designs are inspired by Patti Smith’s song “Because the night (belongs to lovers)” and by the fact that there are many ways we can protect our skin from sun damage, such as running in hours when UV rates are low. We hope the garments function as a conversation starter to encourage fellow runners to do self-exams for early detection of skin cancer.

Buy one of the Night Runners shirts here

The Night Runners: summer edition 1

Something must be (run)done

Each year more and more people are diagnosed with melanoma and other types of skin cancer. Skin cancer is meanwhile in the top 3 of the most common cancer types amongst young adults. Many people don’t take measures to prevent skin cancer and don’t check changes on their skin, while early detection can be crucial.

The Night Runners: summer edition 2Photographer Manuel Peric

Why the night belongs to runners

To us, running is much more than just exercise. It’s a true passion. We live it, we breathe it and we can feel it running through our veins. Despite training for our goals, there is no such thing as an “off-season” for us. We run after a hard-working day. We run when our legs are tired from the day before. We run through adverse weather and rugged terrain. And we run when it’s dark, early in the morning or late at night. After all, this is a good thing. It protects us from harmful UV light and reduces the risk of skin cancer. That’s why the night belongs to runners.

The Night Runners: summer edition 3Photographer Manuel Peric

Running from the sun

UV light is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers. The sun emits two types of ultraviolet rays–UVA and UVB. Both kinds of radiation can lead to skin cancer. Runners and others who like to be outdoors are especially at risk, particularly when the sun is high and their arms and legs are bare. And during many endurance events such as marathons and triathlons, competitors often spend time in the sun when ultraviolet rays are strongest–between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

But even clouds, water, and wintry weather don’t lessen the chances of sun exposure. Most dangerous ultraviolet rays penetrate clouds and water. These rays also can bounce off snow and water, which increases their intensity. Cold weather won’t shield you, except for the fact that you’ll probably be wearing more clothing.

We encourage everyone to protect their skin in a way that suits them best. For example:

1. Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher
2.Wear protective clothing
3.Seek the shade
4.Go out when the UV rates are lowest: the night belongs to runners!The Night Runners: summer edition 4Photographer Manuel Peric

After run skin check

It’s important to examine your skin head-to-toe at least once a month. Ideally, you build a routine to check your skin right after your after-run shower (learn here how to do that). Self-exams should NOT replace an annual skin exam performed by a physician BUT they offer the best chance of detecting the early warning signs of skin cancer. If you notice any changes in an existing mole or discover a new one that looks suspicious, be safe and consult a doctor. Remember, melanoma spreads relatively quickly and survival with metastatic melanoma is very limited. Early detection can be crucial and can save your life.

Learn how to do a skin check in our free Check-A-Mole browser game:

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About Willpower

Willpower is a running clothing brand for those who don’t fit in. For the hungry hearts and unique souls who think, feel and look different from the mass. We are here and we are many. For we are proud runners with attitude.

The Night Runners: summer edition 6

Das Z, CEO & Founder of Willpower. Photograph by Stephan Wieser

“Since day one I understood Willpower as more as just a running clothing brand. Willpower is much more about ideas and values than about the latest sports tech innovation or color of the season. We feel a strong connection to other people, brands, and organizations who tick in a similar way and even more, who care about making this world a better place, while we are here. I met Marije from Spot the Dot through Manuel Peric, who shot the awesome photos for our “Beyond Running” Campaign, and very quickly figured out 2 things: 1.) Marije is absolutely passionate about Spot the Dot and about spreading awareness for skin cancer. And 2.) Skin cancer is a  topic that is highly relevant to runners, being outdoors and in UV light 99% of the time, doing what they love. We both know what had to be done and this collaboration “escalated quickly” so to say haha! On a more serious note, I am very proud of our “The Night Belongs To Runners” long sleeve and project and hope to see you all running through the night with it, soon.”
(Das Z, CEO & Founder of Willpower)

Spot the Dot

Spot the Dot is a small NGO, founded by melanoma patient Marije Kruis. She works with artists and athletes from around the world to raise awareness of melanoma and other types of skin cancer. Of every sold “The Night Runners” Prime Racing product, €10,- will go to Spot the Dot, and will be used to continue raising awareness of skin cancer. Moreover, by running in this apparel, you have a conversation starter to encourage others to do self-exams for early detection of skin cancer.

The Night Runners: summer edition 7

Learn more about skin cancer and how to do a skin check


#spotthedot #skincancerawareness