Running to raise money

Kim Robin stands under the starting banner at Lilydale's Mother's Day Classic. Pictures: SUPPLIED.

By Mikayla van Loon

When Kim Robin’s mother Maree was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, her world was shaken but instead of getting down, she decided to participate in Mother’s Day Classic.

After experiencing the atmosphere of the city event, Ms Robin decided she wanted to do more for the cause and has hosted the Lilydale Mother’s Day Classic ever since.

“The atmosphere on the day, it just means so much to the community,” Ms Robin said.

“The first year it was raining and we didn’t know if anyone would turn up but we ended up with about 300 people.”

Now in its sixth year, Ms Robin said they normally have to cap participation at 1500 people, although this year because of Covid-19 restrictions only 1000 people could take part.

“We were successful. For the first time in seven years we had no rain and blue sky, we were so grateful,” Ms Robin said.

“The atmosphere was amazing. Our numbers were smaller but we were still there for the same reason.”

Each year, people run two laps around Lillydale Lake, making it five kilometres in total, with their family and friends and this year was no different.

Ms Robin said she thinks people like the idea that they don’t have to travel far to be a part of a Mother’s Day Classic event and they can still donate and contribute to breast cancer research.

One in seven people are diagnosed with breast cancer every year and Ms Robin said days like the Mother’s Day Classic show how much community support is there.

“It just gives them a place to go, something to do with their family on Mother’s Day, it’s a place to honour their loved ones,” she said.

“It’s really all about the day for me, I don’t even know how to explain the atmosphere. People just come together and they’re there to honour someone, it’s a really great community vibe.”

Ms Robin said there were tears on Sunday but she said you felt joy in a sad way.

“We were doing our minute of silence and there were lots of people hugging and lots of tears as people remembered loved ones,” she said.

Remembering her mum who lost her battle to cancer in 2016, Ms Robin knew the heartache some of these families were going through.

“It was just a really challenging time, we thought we’d beaten it but we weren’t so lucky, it came back,” she said.

“It also teaches you to appreciate the small things as well.”

Over the last five years, Ms Robin’s Lilydale event has raised $160,000 for breast cancer research.

“The day is really important but at the end of the day, we’re raising money for a future with no breast cancer,” Ms Robin said.

And even though the day might be a lot of work, with a 5am start and a late finish, Ms Robin said it is all made easier with the many loyal helpers who support her every year.

“It is a lot of work, it really is but it’s worth it once the sun comes up and everyone starts to arrive, it’s worth it.”

Fundraising and donations for Mother’s Day Classic can continue until June 30, with the total amount of funds raised announced in August for breast cancer awareness month.

Visit this website to donate