I had the honour to join my husband and his work colleagues to Run for the Cure in Victoria, BC, Canada. Here’s a quick review together with photographs to celebrate our day. If you missed joining or sponsoring this event, I hope you will join us next year!
“Since all of us have women in our lives, we should feel the need to find the cure. And remember, men may get breast cancer too. It affects all of us.”
Each year thousands of Canadians participate in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC “Run for the Cure” to help raise funds for important research to help beat this disease. The Foundation has funded $300 million in breast cancer research, health promotion, advocacy, education and awareness programs since 1986. It’s therefore great to report that philanthropy is alive and kicking in British Columbia as tens of thousands joined the effort to raise more funding ($9 Million in Victoria alone!) and participate in the 2014 run around the University of Victory grounds. This included the Hewlett Packard Victoria office that fielded a twenty-five person strong team thus beating their own record for attendance. Family members young and old joined HP Victoria staff in the run (jog or walk), whereas across Canada more than 150 HP employees, family members and friends participated. Team HP raised a total of $13,124 in donations for this very worthwhile cause. Way to go Team HP!
We all thank Bonnie Gunderson and Amanda Gray who performed a great job coordinating HP’s participation. In addition they arranged team shirts and generally kept up the drumbeat to get everyone to get involved and pumped for the day. The friendly rivalry of “Cowtowners” (Calgary) vs “Islanders” (Victoria), kept the team motivated. A sea of pink clothed people greeted the team arriving to collect their HP Run for the Cure T-shirts.
Some participants had definitely gone to town: supporting pink wigs, pink hats, pink dresses and tutus. Some even extended the branding to their dogs and baby pushchairs. A personal favourite were the local fire-fighter team all clothed in pink jump suits. An option of 1 km or 5 km was available for those joining this “fun run” and serious runners were definitely out in force. Likewise people with walking sticks, wheelchairs and those walking with young and old did the event organisers proud.
Our own, Ross Kelleway achieved a respectful 29 minute run, though 3 minutes short of his typically best run effort. Clearly valuable early minutes were lost as the dense crowd could only shuffle forward as runners, joggers, walkers and those pushing strollers all battled to push forward and commence the race. One of the youngest members in the HP team, was Richard Arthur’s 11 year old son, Edouard, who achieved an impressive 38 minute result – his first 5 km run, ever and now hooked to take up running.
Everyone participating had a reason and a story to share. Many participants were sporting labels on their back to “advertise” why they were running and raising funds for Breast Cancer Research. It brought a lump to the throat and a tear to the eye to read the many tributes being sported such as “I’m running for my Mom”. In 2014, it is estimated that 24,400 women and 210 men in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and that 5,000 women and 60 men will die from the disease.
Morale was kept high with live music played at different points along the route. Likewise volunteers, strategically placed along the route, cheered and applauded all the participants. As runners and walkers approached the first 2 km marker the unmistakable sound of the bagpipes could be heard and this definitely helped flagging runners to pick up the pace. A great feeling of relief washed over participants as they reached a “water stop” point and beyond at the final 1 km leg. Everyone participating enjoyed the job of running under the End banner to cheers, waves and well done greetings.
The top team fund raisers in Victoria were Brentwood Busts Cancer who earned $12,727.88 from their sponsors whilst FooB Fighters raised $10,899.21. Hats off to the the top individual fund raiser who was Kirsten Petersen who accumulated an amazing $9,537.10
The HP team members were thrilled with their efforts. The sun shone early in the race but rolling clouds provided a much appreciate blanket of “coolness” for the sweaty runners effort. All in all a fun morning activity for an important fund raising event. The funding will allow important research, education and advocacy initiatives to be put in place in the coming year.
So was it worthwhile for the HP team, Victoria? You bet. On top of all of that, we beat the Cowtowners…Yeah!