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Scores of limber runners lined Pall Mall on Sunday morning, ready to take part in the Bendigo Bank Fun Run.
The event, now in its fifth year, is expected to see thousands of dollars donated to the Bendigo Health Foundation.
An emotional Kirsty Williams cheered on about 100 participating family members from beside the course, many of whom wore shirts with the message “#runforjude”.
The contingent ran in memory of Kirsty’s aunt, Jude Eddy, who died from breast cancer in May this year.
The late Ms Eddy ran the first ever Bendigo event, shortly after she was diagnosed with the disease.
The beloved woman also received treatment at Bendigo Health, and Ms Williams was pleased entry fees would go towards other patients’ treatment.
Also set to benefit from the charitable run were hospsital employees, many of whom took part in the run.
Jenny McArthur and Sian James, both nurses at Bendigo Health, joined teammates from Lake Weeroona club 3T Fitness in the half marathon relay event.
The race is named in honour of the late Tracy Wilson, a popular community figure in Bendigo who succumbed to cancer last April.
The group were well-prepared for the run, with most members training between six and seven times every week.
The seasoned runners also applauded changes to the course that saw participants climb View Street straight out of the starting blocks.
But it was the less-experienced runners the team most appreciated seeing on the course.
“To see people who aren’t runners having a go, people who don’t run having a crack, that’s the best part,” Ms James said.
“As much as we talk about podium positions, it’s good to see a lot of camaraderie.”
Among newcomers were brother Jordan and Ethan Mathews.
Aged just seven and 11 respectively, the pair of Strathfieldsaye primary school students ran alongside a team of classmates in the Sunday morning event.
Asked for his favourite part about the day, Ethan answered: “Finishing.”
Jordan enjoyed pushing himself over the five-kilometre course.
“When you do longer runs, you get more exercise,” he said.
University students were also eager participants on Sunday. Dentistry student Margaret Tran, 19, took part in her first Bendigo fun run since arriving from Melbourne earlier this year.
Ms Tran previously laced up for Melbourne event Run for the Kids, but it was Bendigonians’ support for one another that made this run a stand-out experience.
“I really enjoy the community spirit,” she said.
“I love seeing everyone pushing themselves.”