26 March 2024

Mums on the run: Wagga event to help tackle cancer through the Mother’s Day Classic

| Chris Roe
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two women looking ready to run

Holly Wright and Phillipa Aldridge are getting set for this year’s Mother’s Day Classic. Photo: Chris Roe.

Wagga mums Holly Wright and Phillipa Aldridge are getting set to go on the run and they want to bring the rest of the community along for the ride.

”The Mother’s Day Classic is an annual event that has been held since 1998 and the point each year is to raise money and awareness for breast cancer, and for the first time this year, ovarian cancer as well,” explained Holly.

“It’s a 5 k run or walk from the Riverside Precinct up to the highway at Hammond Avenue along the levee bank, so it’s a fully accessible route up and back again with a drink stop along the way.”

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The Mother’s Day Classic is staged from around 80 locations across the country, and Wagga Wagga City Council has given approval to hold the event at the Riverside Precinct.

“We know Wagga is a great place with a huge community spirit and this is such an important fundraiser,” said Phillipa.

“Twelve women in Australia die every day from breast and ovarian cancer, which is just the most horrific statistic, and we know that we can reduce this.

“Technology has advanced hugely for breast cancer survival rates, but at the moment there is no early detection for ovarian cancer, so while the five-year survival rate for people with breast cancer has increased dramatically, ovarian cancer hasn’t seen that.”

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Holly began doing the run on her own during COVID, joining (in spirit) with the tens of thousands of runners and walkers around the country, but this is the first time they are organising a large-scale event.

“The theme is ”Walk or run, move till we’re done” and we encourage people to dress in as much pink as they can and we’ll definitely have a spot prize for best dressed on the day,” said Holly.

Phillipa added that you can be as creative as you like and incorporate your costume with your fundraising.

“I have a friend in Canberra who every year goes to the op shop and buys the ugliest bridesmaid dress or wedding dress she can find and once she raises a certain amount she’ll do the run in that outfit,” she laughed.

“So don’t be limited! Be creative and get a team together to come out and show your support for these great causes and for the women in your life.”

women at fun run

Almost 80 Mother’s Day Classic events will be held across Australia on 12 May. Photo: Supplied.

While the Wagga event is still taking shape ahead of Mother’s Day, Phillipa is hoping that the Riverina will get behind the inaugural event.

“We’re getting sponsors and entertainment together at the moment and hopefully a barbecue, and we’ve got some major prizes too for the person or the team that raises the most money.”

Since 1998, the Mother’s Day Classic has donated $44 million to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the aim is to keep growing.

“Nationally, they expect to have about 100,000 people participate and we would love for a significant portion of that to be from Wagga,” Phillipa said.

“The majority of those people will be walking, so if you don’t think you can do the run then that is perfectly acceptable, and the other thing we need is volunteers.

“We need people to help out on the day to help set up and to be out on the course to turn people around, encourage people, hand out race bibs and that sort of thing.

“We’re hoping that people in Wagga will use their community spirit and either get into teams and do some fundraising or just walk in the event or register to volunteer.

“We’d love to see people go to the Mother’s Day Classic website to get involved and register.”

You can sign up through the official website and keep up to date with plans for the Wagga event through Facebook.

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