Bowel Cancer NZ Smashes Goal at 2017 Vineyard Half Marathon - Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon

Bowel Cancer NZ Smashes Goal at 2017 Vineyard Half Marathon

Bowel Cancer NZ ambassador, Kevin Biggar ran 21.1km in his dinosaur costume.

The 11th Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon was EPIC; You came in your hordes reaching record numbers, PBs were being made all over the show, and most importantly, the team from Bowel Cancer New Zealand SMASHED their goal of raising $50,000 at this year’s event.

One hundred and fifty brave runners took the pledge to raise money for the charity this year, and as of Wednesday had raised a massive $60,500.

Bowel Cancer New Zealand executive committee member Rachel Holdaway was blown away by fundraising efforts this year, the fourth time they have run the race with the group.

“I cannot believe the amount our entrants have raised, it’s just blown us away, $60,500 is the total raised so far and it  keeps on climbing,” she said on Wednesday.

Funds raised were a mixture of online donations raised by participants in the fundraising run, as well as from sales and donations made on registration and race days.

“Online this year we’re up to $52,000 and last year we raised $33,000 online,” Rachel said.

Individual fundraising efforts by race entrants had been high this year, the top fundraiser as of Wednesday, Rana, having raised more than $6000 on her own.

Rana entered the race in January, after losing her husband to bowel cancer in December, at just 41, and many of this year’s fundraisers had been personally affected by the disease, including many  other entrants who had survived bowel cancer, Rachel said.

Bowel Cancer NZ volunteer Alison, and Garrick, one of the top fundraisers.

An increase in the amount of people personally affected by bowel cancer was an indicator of its prevalence within the community, and the fact that young people are affected too, Rachel said.

“[Our charity] is not only about raising funds, it’s about promoting education and awareness of  bowel cancer, plus supporting people and their families.”

Rachel hoped that by spreading the word about bowel cancer, a bigger killer in New Zealand than breast and prostate cancers combined, people would take notice and act on potential symptoms.

“If in doubt, make an appointment to visit a GP, there’s nothing to lose and so much to gain; bowel cancer, if caught early, can have a good outcome,” she says.

If diagnosed and treated early, 75% of cases of bowel cancer can be cured.

We love having the Bowel Cancer New Zealand team join us, and we’re stoked to be able to help in some way. Funds raised this year will help them fund their national awareness campaign in June.

“If we didn’t have the Saint Clair Half we would be running a very modest campaign … the more money we have, the more people we can reach to promote the importance of awareness,  which means more lives are saved,” Rachel said.

The final deadline to get funds in for the race is May 28th and donations can be made here.