The early morning start didn’t stop an estimated 100,000 people from gathering across Australia for the annual Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic.
In the 21st year of the event, about 25,000 runners participated in Melbourne alone to continue the fight against breast cancer.
Coby Lees, 26, and her mum have participated in the Melbourne event for five years.
“Running is something we both enjoy and we can do together. It is such a great cause, a win-win for us as my grandmother had and beat breast cancer,” Ms Lees said.
“It was very moving and empowering to see so many women and families participate.”
The Mother’s Day Classic enables participants to honour those who have been affected by or who are themselves fighting breast cancer, and to raise money for research.
While survival rates have increased by 90 per cent over the last 20 years, many mothers, daughters, aunts and grandmothers are still losing their lives to breast cancer every year.
In 2018, there will be an estimated 18,235 new diagnoses and 3157 deaths.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation hopes to reach a goal of zero deaths by 2030. The crusade’s focus is on funding projects to improve early detection, treatment and the quality of life for patients.
The first Mother’s Day Classic was held in Melbourne and Sydney in 1998.
Now, 21 years later, the event has raised over $35 million and funded more than 43 breast cancer research projects.
Mother’s Day Classic CEO Sharon Morris told The New Daily she became involved with the event in 2007 because of her passion for wellness and physical exercise, plus her desire to raise funds for a worthy cause.
Ms Morris said the 82 events across the country wouldn’t be possible without the thousands of volunteers in the capital cities and remote towns.
“We are so grateful to everyone today, around Australia, who helped make the Mother’s Day Classic the meaningful event that it is,” Ms Morris said.
“It was so wonderful to see families and friends banding together for the cause.”
All funds raised through the Mother’s Day Classic will go towards National Breast Cancer Foundation research projects and donations will remain open until June 30.