Updated: Jan 1
The Runnovation team participated in Relay for Life 2019 in WA as part of our annual fundraising efforts for the Cancer Council. Part of the Runnovation team has been involved with Relay for around 5 years, whereas for other members of the team it was their second year at Relay as part of 'Team Awesome'. At our local Relay this year we were one of 47 teams with 503 participants in total.
For those who are unfamiliar with what Relay for Life is, it is one of the key fundraising initiatives of the Cancer Council; the money raised from this event funds vital cancer research, provides support services to patients and carers of individuals with a cancer diagnosis and provides community education on a range of cancer-related topics. The event goes for 24 hours and the challenge is to have someone from your team continuously walking/running around the track for that 24 hours. The significance of having a continuous 24-hour event is that cancer does not stop, so neither should we.
Thousands of Australians participate in over 200 Relays across Australia each year and it is something our team looks forward to. The key message from Relay is 'Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back', meaning to celebrate the survivors of cancer, remember the loved ones we have lost and to support those who are currently fighting.
The atmosphere as always, was amazing. There was great music & entertainment, food & beverage vendors and many teams had really awesome raffles and activities at their gazebo sites. One of our favourites is a team called the Pink Ladies who sell 'lap beads' - you buy a long string from them and then every lap of the 400m track that you do, you can go and collect a bead on your way around. At the end of Relay you end up with these awesome bead strings that look great on the end of a medal hanger year after year.
Every year the Relay event stops for 30 minutes while every team, the Relay committee and visitors come together for a memorial ceremony. At our local Relay one of the talented Committee members, Bianca, allows you to submit photographs and a caption of loved ones that have been lost to cancer that she lovingly puts together into a beautiful slideshow presentation. It is a very moving and beautiful tribute to all of these individuals.
It is at this time that we were able to light our 'hope bags'. These are bags that we decorate with the name and details of our loved ones affected by cancer - we then place a little battery tealight candle in the bag and place them on the track so they illuminate our journey around it during the evening. It is very moving to see all of these hope bags around the track if you are lucky enough to participate at night time.
The previous few years we have had terrible weather at our local event with strong winds, sometimes a storm and rain. It never stopped us, but it certainly made things interesting. This year we had beautiful weather. At night we were greeted by a clear night sky with a plethora of stars which, along with a cheeky coffee now and again, made our night travels amazing. Who needs sleep when you have an experience like that?
We were proud to have raised a total of $1,063 as part of Team Awesome and to have been a part of an event that raised over $100,000 for the Cancer Council. We want to say a big thank you to everyone that participated and supported this event. We can't wait to start the fundraising for Relay 2020 so if you are interested in helping us out, or want to be part of our team feel free to sing out! We'd love to include you.