Bridgewater Annual Mother’s Day Classic Sunday 14 May

Published on 28 April 2017

Walk and run to fight cancer – that’s the invitation from the organisers of this year’s Bridgewater Mother’s Day Classic.

Planned for Sunday 14 May, the event offers courses of 3km and 5km, food and entertainment, prizes, games for children and an opportunity for participants to put their best foot forward to help others.

The Mother's Day Classic walk or run for breast cancer research was established in 1998, staged initially in Melbourne and Sydney.

Now a major national community event, the Classic has so far raised $30.4 million for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Participation has grown from 3,000 people in that first year to 107,000 in 2016.

The event began in Bridgewater in 2008 when four local women registered to participate at Ballarat – Sue Coghlan, Claire Harrison, Kim Tupper and Tracey Webb.

“When Ballarat was cancelled six weeks before the due date, we were disappointed, but asked why the same thing couldn’t happen in Bridgewater,” Ms Webb said.

“It was all very rushed that first year, but very well received – the first Mother’s Day Classic to be held outside Melbourne and the state’s major regional centres.

“We have a guest speaker each year and participants get to walk or run alongside the Loddon River and through the streets of our town.

“Traditionally, we’ve put on an amazing morning tea at the finish line, but last year we changed it up and offered a light breakfast, which was very well received.

“There are raffle prizes, we decorate the recreation reserve clubrooms with pink balloons and streamers and everyone is encouraged to wear pink.

“Participants get to release a helium-filled balloon after a minute’s silence, which is always a moving moment.

“Everyone receives a medallion and is encouraged to leave their hand-print on our ‘Hands of Hope’ banner, which grows longer by the year.

“This time, we plan to have some live music and invite the children to join in some old-fashioned games, such as egg and spoon and sack races.”

Ms Webb said Bridgewater’s event was always well supported by the local community.

“We average 120 entrants, usually raise about $4,000 and all the husbands and kids pitch in to help,” she said.

“It’s such a great way to start Mother’s Day and everyone’s welcome.”

The day begins at 8am at the recreation reserve for registration, with runners and walkers setting off at 9.15am.

Online paid entries close on 11 May, though participants can also register on the day.

Loddon Shire tourism and marketing officer Robyn Vella said people travelling to Bridgewater for the event were invited to make a weekend of it and enjoy some sightseeing around the district.

“There is a variety of accommodation available, from camping and caravan parks to self-contained cottages, hotels and motels,” Mrs Vella said.

“There’s plenty to see and do, with state and national parks, antiques and collectables stores, places to eat, wineries, walking and cycle trails, heritage townscapes, country football, gourmet food producers and more.”

For more information on the Bridgewater Mother’s Day Classic, please phone Tracey Webb on 0427 046 800 or send an email to spinner33@bigpond.com

For information on Loddon Valley visit www.loddon.vic.gov.au.