The mining town of Collinsville in outback Queensland will be transformed into a ‘sea of pink’ for the first time this month – when Alice Randell leads a team of more than 60 taking part in their own International Women’s Day Fun Run, presented by National Storage.
The runners, many of whom work at Glencore Coal’s Collinsville Open Cut operation, have already raised $3600 to help Mater Foundation fight breast cancer – and more donations are rolling in.
The township, 85km west of Bowen, has about 1,500 residents and Alice has encouraged her colleagues and other members of the community to take part.
Alice, 33, was inspired to start the virtual fun run in Collinsville after learning her Brisbane-based friend Anna had registered to take part in the 20,000-strong Brisbane fun run on March 12.
“Last year I started my own fitness journey after putting on a few kilos,” Alice said.
“When I saw Anna had registered, I thought, yes, I am doing this!”
The International Women’s Day Fun Run supports women with breast cancer and raises vital funds for breast cancer research and services at Mater hospitals across Queensland.
Across Queensland almost 3,000 participants have already signed up to take part in the virtual event, with teams running in Townsville, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Mackay, the Gold Coast, Toowoomba and the Redlands.
Alice is calling on other local residents to join or copy her ‘Collinsville Sea of Pink’ team.
“I want others in small rural towns to join the fight against breast cancer,” she said.
“It’s important to get people moving and be active – and we all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer.”
She said the event was a great way to celebrate International Women’s Day while promoting a healthy lifestyle.
“Embracing a healthy lifestyle isn’t always easy and I’m hoping that this event can show people that it can be done, and that it can be fun too,” she said.
“It can be hard to be focused on health and fitness in a small community, particularly when we don’t have the same state-of-the-art facilities that are available in metropolitan areas,” Alice said.
Alice said her male mining colleagues had embraced the Fun Run, helping to boost team participation.
“It’s fantastic to see everyone getting on board to support the cause. We have a very multi-generational workforce, so family members are encouraging each other and their friends to get involved,” Alice said.
To help boost their fundraising efforts, next week Alice’s team is holding a ‘Pay Per Rep’ event.
“This allows people to make monetary donation, which will be equivalent to the number of repetitions of exercise we have to carry out, so for example, $50 for 50 burpees,” she said.
“We have lots of fun activities planned that will help us raise more money.”
Mater Foundation Chief Executive Officer Andrew Thomas said the fun run had been a much-loved event for more than 30 years and had been expanded to allow Queenslanders to participate wherever they live in the state.
Last year’s fun run was cancelled due to the 2022 Brisbane floods, but fund-raisers and virtual runners still managed to raise an incredible $1.75 million.
Participation in the previous 2021 fun run was capped at 13,500 and has now been increased in response to public demand.
“The response from the community this year has been overwhelming,” Mr Thomas said.
“We’re delighted that 20,000 Queenslanders will be joining the sea of pink in Brisbane this year and another 3,100 will be running in their own virtual events.
“This year we’re hoping to raise more than $1.75m to provide personalised support services and state-of-the-art equipment to better diagnose and treat patients, as well as investing in life-saving breast cancer research at Mater.
“Please join us and show women with breast cancer that we’re right beside them during their most difficult time.”