Runners put up big numbers in fundraiser

NANAIMO – Run for the Cure raises $165,000 for breast cancer research and awareness.

Runners take off from Beban Park as part of the annual Run for the Cure

Runners take off from Beban Park as part of the annual Run for the Cure

Months of hard work resulted in a morning of celebration Sunday during the CIBC Run for the Cure.

Close to 1,000 participants ran or walked the one- or five-kilometre routes through Beban Park in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

One of 59 runs across Canada, the Nanaimo event raised more than $165,000, adding to the $30-million total countrywide.

“It was an amazing day. We had close to 200 people register the day of the run and we’ve never had that before,” said Ruth Christmas, Nanaimo volunteer run co-coordinator. “There were certainly a few moments emotionally, but ultimately, people were there to celebrate with the survivors and celebrate the lives of those they lost.”

One of the more touching moments came when participants added personal messages to the Wall of Hope.

“In Nanaimo, we’ve chosen to bring back the walls from the last nine years so people can see what they’re written in the past,” said Christmas.  “That’s also a very emotional moment.”

The run takes a tremendous amount of planning over the year and Christmas had high praise for the close to 70 volunteers who gave of their time to make the event a success.

“It’s a volunteer-led event with commitments needed from March into November and there’s no way it could be done without their help,” she said.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and donations can be made until Oct. 31 at www.runforthecure.com.