Armidale Mother’s Day Classic

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On Mother’s Day this year, 12th May, not everyone will be enjoying a sleep in! Thousands of people around Australia will take part in the Mother’s Day Classic – a fun walk/jog/run event that raises both funds for and awareness of breast cancer. Our Armidale Mother’s Day Classic event coordinator, Donna Matheson fills us in on the finer details …

Hi Donna. How did you first become involved with the Mother’s Day Classic … and what’s your current role with the event?

I became involved in the Mother’s Day Classic approximately seven years ago, when I was a volunteer at the Dalby (QLD) event. Like many others, I have lost family members to breast cancer, and my family carries the BRCA1 Gene. Women who carry this gene have a high lifetime risk of breast cancer (30 – 60%) and a lifetime ovarian cancer risk (20%).  

After my aunt was confirmed as a carrier, we all had to make the decision on whether we wanted to be tested or not. Both men and women are carriers of this gene, and there is a 50% chance that my cousins, siblings and I are carriers of this gene. I was lucky. I do not carry this gene, which means I cannot pass it on to my children; however, I’m the only one to have the testing thus far. 

All the proceeds from the MDC go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, whose mission is “Stop Deaths from Breast Cancer”, and this is why I am now one of the Event Co-ordinators for the Armidale MDC. This is our second year, and we are looking forward to seeing everyone from last year and all the new faces. 

Where/when will the event be held this year, and what time will the action commence?

The Armidale MDC will be held at Harris Park on 12th May. The day will kick off with “On the Day” registrations between 7:30am – 8:30am. This will be followed by a “warm up” (we have something fun planned for this, but it’s a secret!) at 8:30am, with the official welcome and minute’s silence all being completed in time for the official kick off of the Mother’s Day Classic at 9am.  

Tell us a little about how the day will unfold; how far will participants be required to walk/run on the day?

After the warm up, we will have a guest speaker – we are just finalising this at the moment. Last year we heard from a local breast cancer survivor, which was a truly wonderful way to start the day.  

This year we are again holding a 5 km walk/jog/run, which is untimed. It is a nice flat track, so you can bring your little ones along in their prams; it really is an event for everyone. 

What other activities are planned?

Firstly, there will be coffee and breakfast burgers available on the day, so you don’t have to worry about cooking breakfast! There will also be some music on the day, and we will have some fun quotes along the path to make it an enjoyable walk/run. We will also have a number of photographers at the track, and we will update our Facebook page with all the great photos.  

What’s the dress code for the event this year?

PINK, PINK, PINK! Last year we had some fantastic Best Dressed winners, and we hope that everyone will dress up again this year and have FUN! We will have a number of Best Dressed Individual awards and Best Dressed Team awards again this year, with some great prizes donated by local businesses. 

As you mentioned, the Mother’s Day Classic raises funds for breast cancer research. Why do you feel it’s important for the community to turn up to support this cause?

Whilst it is Mother’s Day and we know everyone likes a sleep in, I think this is such a great way to show our support for anyone who has lost a loved one to breast cancer or has a family member that is currently or has previously had breast cancer. With the current statistics, almost everyone has a story about a friend or relative and breast cancer. Every little bit we can contribute to helping make breast cancer history will help.

The goals of Mother’s Day Classic are to raise funds for breast cancer research, increase awareness of breast cancer within the community, celebrate the lives of people who have been touched by breast cancer, and create a fun, healthy and inspiring event that the community can enjoy together on Mother’s Day.

Over the past 22 years that Mother’s Day Classic has been running, they have raised $35.4 million, with the goal being $40 million by 2020, so every little bit helps.  

Don’t forget you can raise funds before the event by asking friends to sponsor you. You can set up a page on the MDC webpage and share it with your friends on social media. 

How do we register for the event?

Registrations prior to the event are preferred, and this is done via the Mother’s Day Classic web page (

If you are not sure if you can make it or it is a last minute decision to join us, registration on the day is between 7:30am and 8:30am. The prices are slightly higher on the day, and we can accept cash or card.

For those people who may not want to walk/run on the day – how else can they help? Are you looking for volunteers?

We welcome any volunteers! There is always a job to be found – registration desk, marshalling, following up on business donations etc.  You can either register to be a volunteer on the Mother’s Day Classic web page or send a message on Facebook to Mother’s Day Classic – Armidale.  You can even sign up to volunteer on the day if you decide last minute. 

Where can we find further info?

The best place to find additional information is our Facebook page – “Mother’s Day Classic – Armidale”, Mother’s Day Classic web page or contact me on 0409 623 450.

Thanks Donna.

Interview: Jo Robinson.

Featured in pics are: Donna Matheson, Alyssa Matheson, Marieta Burgess and Connie Burgess.

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