Captain Simon Bateman, Commanding Officer of HMAS Albatross, has joined a team of Shoalhaven residents in the Sydney Running Festival today.
The marathon covers some of Sydney's most spectacular and historic landmarks, including the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, and consists of a range of events catering for all ages and fitness levels, including a 4km Family Fun Run, Bridge Run, Half Marathon and a 42km Marathon.
Captain Bateman signed up for the Marathon and participated as part of the ‘Running for Lachlan’ team, made up of friends, family, teachers and schoolmates of 6 year old Lachlan Thoroughgood.
“I joined the team after hearing the story of this little local lad and his family,” Captain Bateman said.
“A couple of weeks ago, Lachlan had to have brain surgery and the doctors found a Giloblastoma Tumor. Now he is having two months of radio and chemotherapy at the Sydney Children's Hospital, and apart from the distress involved in having a child so seriously ill, the family is also facing extensive periods of time away from home and work.”
Lachlan’s aunty, Erin Thoroughgood, her husband Shaun Mallinson and children Jayden and Matthew took part in the 4km Family Run.
“We’ve never done any thing like this run before,” Ms Thoroughgood said, “but Lachlan’s illness has been absolutely shattering for our family, so we’re participating for two reasons: to raise awareness of childhood brain cancer, a condition which is in desperate need of research dollars, and to let the family know we support them”.
Lachlan’s best buddy, Ben Le, and teacher, Amanda Lloyd, have been training together in the lead up. Ben and his family participated in the Family Run, while Amanda has entered the half marathon.
“We’re all very close and the kids are really missing their classmate,” Ms Lloyd said.
“The community support has been amazing - we have already passed our original fundraising goal of $10,000,” she said.
Both Ms Lloyd and Captain Bateman have competed in the Sydney Running Festival before, and agree that the last leg, where you can see finish line at the Opera House in the distance, but you’re not convinced you’re ever going to reach it, is the toughest stage.
“But if I'm finding it tough going from 40 to 42.195 km, it will be nowhere near as tough as the challenges this young bloke and his family are facing,” Captain Bateman said.
“That’s why I am running for Lachlan.”
A fund-raising page has also been set up in support of Lachlan’s family and the Cure for Brain Cancer Foundation at: http://www.mycause.com.au/page/81476/lovinglachlan