The 2019 Beachside Dash kicked off on Sunday 8 September at Peter Depena Reserve, Sans Souci, where light joggers and more serious runners Ran for Research.
Fronting the campaign this year was former NRL Dragons player Jason Nightingale, who participated in the two kilometre run with his family, running hand-in-hand with his young daughter.
The family friendly dash also had five and 10 kilometre distances, so plenty of kids had the chance to pound the pavement in their well-laced sneakers alongside their friends and parents.
The biggest turnout was for the two kilometre run, with mums and dads crossing the line together with their children.
Last year’s event raised $60,000 and the bar was set for another impressive target – to beat the 2018 one. That it did, with organisers estimating a total amount of $70,000 raised so far, with more to come.
Chief executive of SSMRF Jacquie Stratford says this year was the most successful yet, with 962 participants, more than 30 volunteers, alongside a backdrop of strong crowds cheering them on.
“It was fantastic to see the community support this event and Run for Research, more so than ever with the highest participation in years,” she said.
“Smiles were seen all round as runners of all levels crossed the finish line and it was great to see many families involved this year, crossing the finish line hand in hand….it’s a huge boost for research in our local hospitals and our community.”
Belinda Martin was the first female across the line in the 10 kilometre run. Her daughter Imogen Stewart won the five kilometre run – the same result as in 2018.
Craig Alexander, Australian triathlete and Ironman triathlon world champion, took out first place in the 10 kilometre run in the men’s category.
Nathan Breen ran in first ahead of the males in the five kilometre dash. Riley Fong was first of the males to finish the two kilometre dash, and Sienna Wright was the first female.
Kogarah MP Chris Minns, Australian triathlete Craig Alexander, mayors of Bayside and Georges River councils, two players from the St George Illawarra Dragons premiership team, and doctors, researchers and hospital staff attended.
Community businesses that got involved included Reborn Fitness Club, Snap Fitness Kogarah, Vision Personal Training and South Eastern Sydney Local Health District provided free healthy lifestyle programs.