Walking for all mums

IN MEMORY: Charli, 8, Jorja, 11, and Regan Bennett, 9, walk in memory of their mum Sarah during the 2017 Ballarat Mother's Day Classic. Picture: Dylan Burns

IN MEMORY: Charli, 8, Jorja, 11, and Regan Bennett, 9, walk in memory of their mum Sarah during the 2017 Ballarat Mother's Day Classic. Picture: Dylan Burns

FORGET breakfast in bed with a cup of steaming hot tea, throwing on a pink jumper and running in the cold is the Mother’s Day tradition for thousands of families. 

More than 1000 pink-clad walkers and joggers, rugged up and turned up for the tenth annual Ballarat Mother’s Day Classic, which raises thousands of dollars for breast cancer research every year.

For Pauline Hennessy just completing the walk was as equally challenging as it was rewarding. Ms Hennessy’s daughter Sarah Bennett died in 2015 after a two-year battle with a rare form of breast cancer. She was aged 36.

“We’re honoured to do the walk for Sarah and with her three girls,” Ms Hennessy said.

“It will be two years in June since Sarah passed and everyone here (completing the walk) has had their own journey. We are doing it for the girls and for their mum.”

Ms Bennett’s best friend Rachel Flantz held a banner with Ms Bennett’s name, photo, date of birth and date of death.

“This showed that Sarah is on the walk with us,” Ms Flantz said.

“It’s very important to keeping her memory alive.

“I do this walk for Pauline and for her children. We still cry for Sarah.” 

For Ms Bennett’s daughters Charli, 8, Jorja, 11, and Regan, 9, the day was an opportunity to remember their mum and support cancer research.

“We are taking mum for a walk on Mother’s Day,” Charli said.

Mother’s Day Classic committee chair Lee Powell has nursed many patients who have fought and survived cancer.

“I see the impact that cancer has, not only on the person themselves, but the ricochet impact that it has on their family, friends and supporters.

“The impact is in two ways – firstly, it is the stress but then there is also the positive side of getting the community together and supporting each other.” 

Ms Powell said the large turnout highlighted the generosity of the Ballarat community and a general willingness to support important causes like breast cancer awareness and fundraising. 

Ms Powell said she hoped taking part in the event was becoming a Mother’s Day tradition for the an increasing number of people.