PHOTOS

A windy Beachside Dash for St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation is a sweeping success

It was a blustery start and an even windier finish to this year's St George Beachside Dash, but runners tall and small were not deterred to sign up for a major annual fundraiser.

The 2019 Dash kicked off on Sunday at Peter Depena Reserve, Sans Souci, where light joggers and more serious runners powered forward for medical research.

It was back for the 12th time, and the new season sunshine made a chilly day feel a little more bearable.

But nothing could stop supporters in their #RUNFORRESEARCH, with all money raised on the day going back into St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation (SSMRF), which provides vital funds to medical studies within the community.

Fronting the campaign this year was former NRL Dragons player Jason Nightingale, who participated in the two kilometre run with his family, running hand-in-hand with his young daughter.

The family friendly dash also had five and 10 kilometre distances, so plenty of kids had the chance to pound the pavement in their well-laced sneakers alongside their friends and parents.

The biggest turnout was for the two kilometre run, with mums and dads crossing the line together with their children.

Last year's event raised $60,000 and the bar was set for another impressive target - to beat the 2018 one. That it did, with organisers estimating a total amount of $70,000 raised so far, with more to come.

Chief executive of SSMRF Jacquie Stratford says this year was the most successful yet, with 962 participants, more than 30 volunteers, alongside a backdrop of strong crowds cheering them on.

"It was fantastic to see the community support this event and Run for Research, more so than ever with the highest participation in years," she said.

"Smiles were seen all round as runners of all levels crossed the finish line and it was great to see many families involved this year, crossing the finish line hand in hand....it's a huge boost for research in our local hospitals and our community."

Belinda Martin was the first female across the line in the 10 kilometre run. Her daughter Imogen Stewart won the five kilometre run - the same result as in 2018.

Craig Alexander, Australian triathlete and Ironman triathlon world champion, took out first place in the 10 kilometre run in the men's category.

Nathan Breen ran in first ahead of the males in the five kilometre dash. Riley Fong was first of the males to finish the two kilometre dash, and Sienna Wright was the first female.

Kogarah MP Chris Minns, Australian triathlete Craig Alexander, mayors of Bayside and Georges River councils, two players from the St George Illawarra Dragons premiership team, and doctors, researchers and hospital staff attended.

Community businesses that got involved included Reborn Fitness Club, Snap Fitness Kogarah, Vision Personal Training and South Eastern Sydney Local Health District provided free healthy lifestyle programs.

Sponsors included St George Bank, St George Private Hospital, McGrath St George, Ramsgate RSL, Medibank, ANSTO, Sydney Airport, Austbrokers SPT, Novotel Brighton Beach, Bayside Council, Tynan Motors, Runnulla, Sydney Elite Massage Therapy, St George District Athletics Club and Bates Bikes.

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