Shire participants run for their lives and for healthy futures in Blackmores Half Marathon 2019

Sporty spirit: Amanda Pitcher and Alana Bowles are in training for the Blackmores Half Marathon, and are encouraging Sutherland Shire participants to join them.
Sporty spirit: Amanda Pitcher and Alana Bowles are in training for the Blackmores Half Marathon, and are encouraging Sutherland Shire participants to join them.

Team captain Alana Bowles will lead determined runners in the Blackmores Running Festival this year, to raise money for the Can Too Foundation to fund cancer research and prevention.

Ms Bowles, of Loftus, started her journey with the foundation in 2007 after she ran her first marathon - something she never thought was possible.

"My mother was battling cancer and her diagnosis was terminal, but I never gave up hope and a half marathon for me at the time was a way to reinforce in myself that anything was possible," she said.

She then set up a training group in 2008, only a few months after her mother had died.

"Mum knew what I was doing and was my cheerleader every step of the way. I remember her saying to me to do whatever I can to find a cure for cancer. And that is why I continue to Can Too today," she said.

After moving to Sutherland Shire five years ago, Ms Bowles started leading a training here in the area.

"I love how the culture here is positive, inclusive and encouraging," she said.

"Living in the shire is like living in a large village where we like to connect, support local and enjoy our wonderful nature. Being part of Can Too South is an exciting opportunity to bring together an already wonderful community and to share through a meaningful platform."

Amanda Pitcher, of Engadine, will lead the team as the coach supported by Ms Bowles. Ms Pitcher is a Can Too alumni participant who has raised nearly $15,000 for Can Too and graduated to become a coach for the organisation.

Can Too trains for Blackmores Sydney Running Festival at Sutherland and Cronulla.

Half Marathon training starts on June 12 and the 10 kilometre run training starts on July 10.

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