Sunday’s Mother’s Day Classic was as popular as ever in its ninth year in Bendigo, with an estimated 1500 participants from across the region joining the fight to eliminate breast cancer.
Committee member Gaye Harrington said the event was always “really well supported”, with many people in the region touched by the disease and keen to show their appreciation for their mums at the same time.
“We know that a lot of women in central Victoria and in Bendigo in particular are affected by the disease of breast cancer and we see a lot of teams who came today with tributes or to run on behalf of people who are experiencing breast cancer so it’s great that people come out and support the cause,” she said.
“We also have a lot of people who come because it’s a great event and they like to do something nice on Mother’s Day so there are people who come for altruistic reasons and people who come just because they like a run.”
In launching the fun run/walk City of Greater Bendigo mayor Margaret O’Rourke, who lost her own mother to breast cancer at the age of 17, said the cause was “especially close to my heart”.
“We are all here today for different reasons, to pay tribute to our mums, to remember a loved one who has passed away from breast cancer or to offer our support to those who are currently undergoing treatment,” she said.
“But most importantly we are here to help the National Breast Cancer Foundation work towards their goal of zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030.”
Ms Harrington thanked the “small but dedicated” group of volunteers who took time out of their Mother’s Day each year to run the event.
“It’s a very small core team of people who set it up and do the registration and manage the whole process so they do a great job,” she said.
“It gets harder and harder to get people to help you to do things every year so it’s critical that we thank the people who put in the time and effort to make these things happen.”
Mother and daughter join Team Kath
One of the biggest contingents of walkers and runners at yesterday’s Mother’s Day Classic came from Team Kath, with dozens of members hitting the track in memory of Kath Wright, who lost her battle with cancer just a few short weeks after last year’s event.
Mother-daughter team members Julie and Shaylee Stratford said they were pleased to be able to show their support for the cause, while spending time together on Mother’s Day.
Shaylee said the pair joined the team after learning of Kath’s fight through a work colleague, as well as to get “a bit of exercise on a Sunday morning” – while the exertion almost proved too much for Julie.
“I think my daughter did it to kill me on Mother’s Day,” she joked.
But on a more serious note, Julie said the event was “a really good mother-daughter thing to do on Mother’s Day”.
“We’re usually one in, all in, so I just came to support Team Kath, and it’s a good thing to do on a beautiful day.”
Up to 30 other members of Team Kath participated in Sunday’s fun run.