Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Fun run for breast cancer to hit Benalla

The inaugural Benalla Mother's Day Classic will be held at Lake Benalla next month.

MONIQUE FREER May 1, 2014 3:39am

Caitlin Parker, Hayley Brandellero, Sammy-Jo Spencer, Quent Wain and Mel Levy are excited about the inaugural Benalla Motherís Day Classic next month.

For Sammy-Jo Spencer the Mother’s Day Classic is personal.

Ms Spencer’s mother died of breast cancer in 2005 after a 12-year battle with the disease.

Nine years later, the 23-year-old is bringing the fun run and walk event to Benalla next month to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.

‘‘I was about 15 when she died and I had been doing a few fun runs myself, and Benalla doesn’t really have that many and I thought, ‘You know what? This would be a good thing to do’,’’ Ms Spencer said.

Ms Spencer was born and bred in Benalla but relocated to Melbourne four years ago.

She said since moving she had noticed a difference in the awareness of breast cancer compared to regional areas.

‘‘There is less awareness than in metropolitan areas ... there were less opportunities for people to get involved and feel like they’re contributing,’’ Ms Spencer said.

‘‘Back in the time there was no-one really there to support it when Mum was around.’’

This year’s event is the first Mother’s Day Classic to be held in Benalla, and Ms Spencer said the aim was more to raise awareness than funds.

‘‘Awareness is the ultimate goal ... knowing how many people it affects, and I guess that you’re sort of not by yourself,’’ she said.

‘‘It is such a big illness and there’s so many people in Benalla that it’s still affecting. I don’t like watching people go through it.’’

Participants are encouraged to complete a tribute card to wear on the day in memory of a loved one, or with words of encouragement for someone undergoing treatment.

‘‘I’ve done the one in Melbourne for a few years now, and running around and seeing men pushing prams with one or two children ... on their signs they’ll have ‘my mum’, and he’ll have ‘my wife’ and it makes you remember that it’s such a huge disease,’’ Ms Spencer said.

The Benalla Mother’s Day Classic will be held at Lake Benalla and will involve a 5km walk, plus 5km and 10km runs to cater for all fitness levels and abilities.

The course is flat and wide enough for prams, and competitors will be under the supervision of marshalls.

The Mother’s Day Classic will be held on Sunday, May 11 at Lake Benalla foreshore. Registrations will open at 8am and the welcome will begin at 9am.

Ms Spencer will also be holding fundraising barbecues at Woolworths Benalla on May 3, 4 and 9.

For more information phone Sammy-Jo Spencer on 0417086817 or to register visit

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