Run For A Cause ambassadors have finished their running challenges but will continue fundraising efforts for the Ballarat Foundation in the lead up to Christmas.
Federation University Associate Professor and chair of the Academic Board Elisa Zentveld ran 505 kilometres in November and 680km since she first signed up in late October.
Dr Zentveld said her running challenge attracted community attention, with people frequently stopping her in the street after seeing her run across different areas of Ballarat.
She said she had many moments to explain why she was running and promote the cause, with all funds raised supporting families experiencing financial difficulties with back to school vouchers.
It would be nice to think all kids have that opportunity to be in a safe place and be ready to learn and build their life.Pauline O'Shannessy-Dowling
Dr Zentveld said she had always been a long distance runner, but squeezing so many kilometres into one month was certainly not the norm.
She ran 17km on average every day for the month, getting up at 6am to squeeze the long runs into her busy schedule as a mother to four children and a university professor.
"I have enjoyed having a goal for something that would make a difference for families, for kids, for education and a really good organisation that does amazing things to transform people's lives," Dr Zentveld said.
"I call running my selfish time... It is where I plan a lot of my day and it's where I have gotten ideas from. Research ideas have always come when I am out running.
"It is where I sort through problems that I have to work through and it is where I prepare some of the things for my meetings.
"It is time that I can think clearly without being interrupted. It is quality time."
Dr Zentveld has raised $440 to help the Ballarat Foundation provide back to school vouchers to families in need.
"We have a lot of needy families at the moment," she said.
"Kids go through a growth spurt and they need shoes, but maybe the parent can't afford a new pair of shoes.
"To be able to have that child is in good, well- fitting shoes and able to have books is really important for their development.
"This is an investment in our future community leaders."
Artist, teacher and long-time marathon runner Pauline O'Shannessy-Dowling was the top fundraiser as of Wednesday afternoon and met her goal to run 200km on the last day of the November challenge.
She said Run For A Cause was good training for the Melbourne Marathon which she is running in two weeks.
Ms O'Shannessy-Dowling said she did lots of runs with her black labrador Stella, who was a social media favourite to promote the cause.
"Getting a good education is such an important thing. Everyone deserves it. It can really set people up for life to have a rewarding and happy life," she said.
"I work with a lot of kids and schools. Today (Wednesday) these kids were really responsive and happy to do the work. You can see they have a lot of support and you wish every child can have that.
"It would be nice to think all kids have that opportunity to be in a safe place and be ready to learn and build their life."
Ms O'Shannessy-Dowling said she would continue running, with a goal to run 12 marathons, one every month, next year.
Community members can help the Ballarat Foundation reach its goal to provide 1000 back to school vouchers by donating online, virtual-run-for-a-cause.raisely.com/.
The Ballarat Foundation is $3000 off its $50,000 goal.
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