Despite the early Saturday morning start on February 28th 2015, the participants in the walkathon were eager to get started. A total of 931 participants gathered at Fritsch Holzer Park in Hawthorn East, to take part in the second annual walk for The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. The 60 kilometre walk takes place over two days and is Victoria’s largest multi-day walk for women’s cancers.

It is a shocking fact that each year 13 000 people in Victoria are diagnosed with cancer. Each diagnosis not only affects the individual but their family, friends and the wider community, meaning that at some point in our life we are bound to be impacted by cancer. Resolved to change this statistic, participants in the event raised a total of $2.7 million. The funds will support vital cancer research and clinical care at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.

The Rapid Relief Team (RRT) wanted to support this commendable cause and offered to assist with this year’s walkathon. RRT had the responsibility for route marking so on Friday 27th three teams of RRT members marked the course for the Saturday walk. The route passed through Federation Square and other landmarks, including the Peter MacCallum Cancer Research Centre.

On Saturday morning a new shift of RRT workers arrived at 4:45am to assist with crowd control, event support and traffic management. Several members of the team were positioned along the driveway and parking lots to help direct traffic as the participants arrived. The traffic control manager commented that it had never run so smoothly!

Others welcomed the participants with a friendly smile and ‘Good morning’ and helped with their luggage. There were also members of the team throughout the park assisting with directions and ensuring the crowd flowed effortlessly through the park. It was inspiring to see the look of determination, passion and dedication on the walkers’ faces as they prepared for the strenuous 60 kilometre walk. This was epitomised in one cancer sufferer who traversed the entire course alternating between a wheelchair and crutches!

Throughout the day RRT were engaged in route marking, staking out the route for the Sunday walk. This course headed south and included many interesting landmarks. The task of the route marking team was more challenging this time because some of the signs from the Saturday route needed to be taken down to be used for the Sunday route. However, with the help of a crew support team the job was finished in record time.

The Event Manager of the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers was very grateful for the support of the RRT, and their efforts to help make the weekend a huge success. RRT was very thankful to be included in this event and the opportunity to make a difference to lives in the community.

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