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Running pod for cancer research

Sydney, 20 Sep 2015

Laura James, a competitive runner of five years, used her passion for running to rally a group of 37 Macquarie colleagues in Sydney to create a running pod. Together, they raised more than $21,000 - with Macquarie Group Foundation matching - for The Can Too Foundation.

Macquarie is a principal supporter of Can Too, an Australian health promotion foundation which raises funds for cancer research.

James already had a number of race wins under her belt, including first in the 2015 City Mile Dash, and she was keen to encourage health and fitness amongst her colleagues. It was in her team’s Wellness Group where the idea for the running pod was formed.

As part of the Can Too program, the Macquarie pod trained for 10 weeks culminating in each member participating in the 4km family fun run, 9km bridge run or half marathon as part of the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival in September 2015.

Training included two weekly running sessions with coaches, as well as ongoing personal support and information sessions with podiatrists, nutritionists and physiotherapists.

“The feedback from pod members is that their health and fitness improved and they enjoyed the opportunity to take part in regular physical activity during the working week,” said James. “One of the members is now even going to train for a marathon after rediscovering her passion for running.

“Participants also formed friendships and an extended network, and they have a sense of supporting a greater cause through their running.”

Athletes at all stages - from beginners to the experienced - are provided with professional coaching as part of a Can Too team to run, swim or bike long and short distance events. In return, participants raise money to fund cancer research by Australian scientists.

Can Too has trained over 11,000 people and raised more than $15 million for Cure Cancer Australia and Cancer Council NSW.

Macquarie staff have donated more than $200,000 to Can Too with Macquarie Group Foundation matching.

Image caption: Participants from the Macquarie staff running pod at the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival in 2015.