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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Mother’s Day Classic goes virtual

Charity events have suffered due to COVID-19, and many are changing up the way they do things. The Mother’s Day Classic fun run and walk, which raises funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, is one of them.

This year, instead of taking to Lake Burley Griffin en masse, Canberrans are being urged to participate ‘virtually’ in the event, running or walking either 4 or 8 kilometres in their local area on or before Mother’s Day, this Sunday 10 May.  

CEO of the Mother’s Day Classic Foundation, Zara Lawless, said the response to the virtual event has been “extraordinary”, with strong registration numbers from around the country.

“For the last 22 years, the Mother’s Day Classic has taken place on one day, in up to 100 locations with up to 100,000 people,” she said.

“With the reshaped Mother’s Day Classic Virtual 2020, we expect this year’s event to be staged at tens of thousands of locations, in people’s backyards, the local park or even people’s living rooms.”

Ms Lawless said the organisation understands that “times are tough” for many Australians currently, and it is too early to understand the full impact of this on fundraising efforts.

“We are, however, continually inspired and encouraged by the generosity of Australians,” she said.

“Where people are comfortable and have the means to do so, we do encourage our participants to fundraise and donate, as research is still vitally important to support the 53 women who are diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia every single day.”

Ruth Riach after participating in last year’s Mother’s Day Classic (and winning best-dressed!); this year, she’ll be running her usual route in her pyjamas to raise money for breast cancer research. Images supplied.

One local woman will be doing her best to do just that, her goal to run 100 kilometres in three weeks. Ruth Riach had planned to run the Mother’s Day Classic in her pyjamas alongside her Yass High School colleagues; however, she will now run her usual local track on the day – yes, still in her pyjamas! Ms Riach lost her mum in 2018 after a battle with breast cancer, and ran the course in 2019 in a formal gown in her memory, and to raise some extra money.

“I wanted to do a bit of a tribute run to Mum, and decided to dress up because Mum loved an occasion to do fancy dress, and also because she would have got a kick out of me running in a pink taffeta dress,” she said.

“People were very generous, so I just started adding silly things like 1980s hair and makeup and a tiara if I reached different fundraising goals.”

Ms Riach said while the event will be a different this year, it’s still a great way to raise money and community spirit.

“I now do this run (and will continue to every year) as a tribute to my feisty, stubborn, intelligent, artistic and fun-loving mum, who I know would love to see what I come up with each year,” she said.

“We all have relatives, loved ones, friends, colleagues who have had, or have, breast cancer, and we can all contribute to curing it.”

For more information and to register, visit the Mother’s Day classic website. Registration is $25, and includes access to the virtual portal.

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