26,000 PEOPLE HIT THE ROAD FOR A PERFECT DAY AS CANCER VICTIM’S Emotional finish for City-Bay
THE finishing line of the Westpac City-Bay Fun Run, presented by the Sunday Mail, is a place of euphoria and relief, cheers and a few tears, personal bests, quiet achievers and super heroes, not all of them wearing a cape.
While a handful of athletes, such as 12km champs Jack Rayner and Sinead Diver, celebrated their wins yesterday, just making it to the end was a triumph of sorts for most of the 26,000-plus entrants in this year's event.
For Peter Owens, however, completing the course with his family and a band of supporters had an extra level of emotion, as he remembered his son, Michael, who died just five days after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in April this year. He was 23.
Mr Owens, who has been a City-Bay regular since competing in the inaugural race in 1973, incorporated the event into the final stage of a marathon fundraising walk from Port Augusta to Glenelg.
His 365km trek will raise an estimated $75,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation.
He crossed the finish line alongside wife, Debbie, and Michael’s fiancee, Rosie Rechichi, and surrounded by more than one hundred supporters wearing white T-shirts bearing Michael’s name.
“I’m glad it’s over,” Mr Owens said. “I didn’t realise what walking 365km was going to do to me. It’s a very emotional moment. It has only been five months (since Michael died).”
Mr Owens said it was appropriate that his walk ended with the City-Bay, as the event had great significance to his
CHARITY CHAMPIONS: Debbie and Peter Owens with their son Michael’s fiancee, Rosie Rechichi, at the finish line of the City to Bay in Glenelg yesterday.