Triumphant return of run

The 2022 Run for the Kids has raised $1.2 million for the Good Friday Appeal.

The weather failed to dampen spirits as the Herald Sun-Transurban Run for the Kids made a triumphant return on Sunday.

Thousands turned up with bright smiles and colourful costumes to raise $1.2m for The Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.

One group – dressed head to toe in pink – was Team Scarlett, headed by the Chesher family.

Little Scarlett was born premature in early January 2017, tragically not making it to the next month.

Dad Matt Chesher said after Scarlett died peacefully in he and his wife’s arms, they knew they had to do whatever they could to keep supporting sick children.

“No parent should ever have to go through something like that, but we were equipped to make informed decisions,” Mr Chesher said.

“This event means everything to us – there are so many magical people who work in these hospitals, and whatever we can do, little or small, we will.”

Decked out in yellow, the crew walking for Bella Allan, gathered almost 300 people to walk in her honour, raising $10,000 for the cause just among themselves.

Older sister Chelsea said Bella was diagnosed with leukaemia seven years ago, but lost her battle in January.

“She went through so many treatments at the Royal Children’s,” Chelsea said.

Family member Loretta said having lost Bella so ­recently, the event took on even greater significance.

“Even though Bella lost her battle, we will keep continuing to support the Royal Children’s,” Loretta said.

The runs commenced at 8am and 9.30am respectively, with walkers, joggers, amateur athletes and Olympians setting off on the 5.2km and 14.8km courses.

Sam Rizzo won the wheelchair event, with Olympians Liam Adams and Sinead Diver crossing the line first in the men’s and women’s races.

Mr Rizzo said: “After all this time, it’s great that we can get back ­together and do what we love for such a fantastic cause.”

The event raised $1.1m, topped up by Transurban Group executive Henry Byrne with $100,000.

The Run for the Kids has now raised $20.6m for The Royal Children’s Hospital since its inception in 2006.

Among the participants were Herald and Weekly Times chairwoman Penny Fowler and News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson.

“So many admirable people are doing it, and it’s a profoundly important thing for Victoria and the country,” Mr Thomson said.

Ms Fowler said it was fantastic to see everyone running, and out and about in Melbourne again.

Other familiar faces ­included Lord Mayor Sally Capp, Fox Footy presenter Sarah Jones, and champion runner Steve Moneghetti, the race director.

The long course took in Docklands, the Bolte Bridge, Domain Tunnel and Yarra River.

Originally published in the Herald Sun on Monday, 4 April 2022
Words: Grace Baldwin
Photo: Michael Klein

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