On Sunday, a typically fresh Melbourne morning, more than 26,000 people turned out to run or walk their way around one of the three courses in The Age’s Run Melbourne event.
The half-marathon began at 7am in the chilly darkness of St Kilda Road, followed by the 10km run at 9.15am and the 5km run/walk at 10.30am.
Participants helped raise funds for charitable organisations of their choice. Groups like those from the Polish Scouting Association in Victoria banded together to raise money for the Heart Foundation.
Each member chose their preferred distance, motivated by the memory of their friend Piotrek who died last year aged 17, due to a serious chronic heart condition.
A member of the team Marta Zyznowska said, “Taking in some of Melbourne’s best sights made the run easier for us, as did having our own personal cheer squad with a BBQ by the Yarra ready for when we crossed that glorious finish line.”
“The great thing about the day was that anyone who wanted to have a go, did. Even our parents were talking about giving it a crack next year.”
“So far we’ve raised over $2,400 and even though we’re now nursing some sore legs, next year we’ll aim even higher,” she said.
In 2011, participants in Run Melbourne raised more than $1 million for a variety of charities. This year the runners and walkers have raised over $1.8 million.
Will the donations crack $2 million in 2013?