2013 'Run for Strength' proved to be the most successful event yet with more than 1,100 participants

The most successful 'Run for Strength' was held by Muscular Dystrophy Australia on Sunday 24 February 2013 at Albert Park Lake and with more than 1,100 people participating in the event.

Albert Park was abuzz with people from all stages of life from little children excited to be out with the family, serious athletes ready to race and groups of women in their 80s who lapped up the opportunity to enjoy a nice walk around the lake on such a beautiful day.

"Each year we have seen the event go from strength to strength and this year just proves how willing people are to get out and support such a worthy cause," said Muscular Dystrophy Australia Executive Director, Boris M Struk.

The park was packed with people enjoying the free sausage sizzle with smiling faces all round from those exhausted from their runs or walks to kids enjoying the face-painting and show bags.

While the aim of the run is for everyone to just enjoy themselves whether they complete the 10km run, 5km run or 5km walk, it was a proud day for 13-year-old Hugh McMahon as was first to cross the line in the 10km run.

Hugh completed the 'Run for Strength' in 2011 but said he trained harder than ever for this year's event with the inspiration for his achievement being his 15-year-old brother, Angus, who is affected by Muscular Dystrophy (MD).

The whole McMahon family participated in the 'Run for Strength', including Angus who completed the race in his wheelchair, and it is this strong support that really personifies what the event is about.

"It is amazing to see someone who is so young have so much passion and support for a cause so close to his family's heart and all of us at Muscular Dystrophy Australia (MDA) applaud Hugh on his fantastic achievement," said Mr Struk.

First time runner in the 'Run for Strength' Kathleen Broadway was equally as excited when she came in as the first female to complete the 10km run. It was also the first time David Benson had participated, who won the 5km run.

"This was such a fantastic day with a great atmosphere, I'm so glad I came to be a part of it. I loved it so much that I will definitely be back next year," said David.

There were also many high profile people running in the event such as players from the Melbourne Storm's under 20s team, Hayden Butler and Harry Moore.

"This is our first Muscular Dystrophy Australia 'Run for Strength' and it's fantastic to see so many people from the community get together to support such a great cause with a fair few people running pretty hard out there," said Harry Moore.

"We'll be back next year with a few extra of the boys and give a good old crack again as there's a fair few footy teams out there so we'll give them a run for their money," said Hayden Butler.

"With Muscular Dystrophy affecting around 1 in 1,000 people it is a huge issue that needs the support of not only everyday Australians but also the corporate sector and government to get behind us to help work together in caring for those affected by MD and for much needed research," said Mr Struk.

Since its inception in 1984, MDA has provided more than half a million hours of respite for those in the community affected by Muscular Dystrophy, as well as more than 110,000 hours of the support program 'Futures' and more than 150,000 hours of student placement representing more than 4,500 tertiary education students supporting CampMDA.

"We have been overwhelmed by the support we received for this year's event and it was definitely our most successful 'Run for Strength' since it began in 2009. The event is the brainchild of Ozi Akyildiz and Sam Quattrone, two important people in the MD community who wanted to make a difference to research efforts into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which affects Ozi's young son Kaya," said Mr Struk.
"Is really uplifting to have so many people recognise the vital work Muscular Dystrophy Australia is doing. In total MDA has provided in excess of 1 million hours of care and support for people with Muscular Dystrophy and so we welcome any help we are able to receive from the general public and businesses."

"We are truly grateful for all of the support we received from both the participants and the businesses which made valuable donations. We are really looking forward to next year's event and hope we can boost the numbers up and hopefully reach 2,000 runners!" said Mr Struk.

5am set up

A 5am set-up - getting ready for the big morning...

Melbourne Storm's Harry Moore and Hayden Butler.

Kathleen Broadway

Hugh McMahon

David Benson

The McMahon clan

At the start line for the 5km walk

Ruth Dubois crossing the finish line of the 5 km walk

Nichole & Jenni

The Crew

Luke Gennimatas

Luke Gennimatas takes a bow on appluse. He raised more than $700 in sponsorship for MDA.

5km runners
First - David Benson
Second – Jess Frost (Ivanhoe Colts Football Club)
Third - James Allery (Heidelberg Football Club)
First - Georgia Borg (St Marys)
Second - Gemma Minuz (St Marys)
Third - Eli Minus (St Marys)

10km runners

First - Hugh McMahon
Second – Hugh Hindle
Third – Luke Chapman
First - Kathleen Broadway
Second – Robin Johnston
Third - Joelle Cabral



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