Can Too's marathon weekend of running from Sydney to South Australia

04 Jun 2021

Thank you to the 115 Can Tooers who painted South Australia’s Barossa Valley and Sydney’s Pyrmont orange on the weekend to raise, so far, *$139, 864 to fund cancer research and prevention.

About 85 runners took on the half and full marathons at the Barossa Marathon Festival and 30 completed their half marathon goals at Can Too’s own grand finale to the 2021 SMH program.

The action heated up at both locations where over 100 Can Tooers, some first timers and long time devotees crossed their respective finish lines with big smiles, to a roar of cheers from their Can Too supporters. However both locations started with very cold mornings. The Barossa temperature was reported as feels like minus 2 degrees. 

First time marathoner hits it out of the park

Congratulations to first time marathoner Leanne Bourke (pictured below left) who blew her finishing time and fundraising goals out of the park. She was hoping to finish the race in under 4 hours 30 minutes but raced home in a time of 4 hours and 18 minutes and raised over $7,270 to become a Can Too Hall of Famer in her first program.

She put her success down to the coaching, program and support from the Can Too community.

“I absolutely loved it. I’m 54 so I wanted to run a marathon for a long time. Coach Simone was brilliant, with her help and the Can Too program I got to the start line uninjured,” said Leanne.

“I was so happy with my time and that I held my pace through the whole marathon which was a credit to the program.

“It was really beautiful having all the Can Tooers there including the half marathoners. The support that the Can Tooers gave was incredible.

“Hearing [Can Too Founder] Annie Crawford’s talk before the marathon was so motivational, that ‘we’re the lucky ones as we can run’.”

Leanne was inspired to raise money for cancer research as her husband Martin, has a rare form of cancer a Gastro-intestinal Stromal Tumour (GIST). Thanks to cancer research he is on specific oral chemotherapy medication which is part of a research drug trial.

“Because my husband has cancer, raising the money [for Can Too] was such a good thing to combine my love of running and cancer research.” 

She is looking forward to her next Can Too goal to run the half marathon in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Go Georgie Crawford-Smith

Can Too Founder, Annie Crawford was thrilled to share her admiration for her sister and long-time Can Too Coach Georgie Crawford-Smith who ran the half marathon after she went through cancer treatment, last year.

“My amazing sister ran the half marathon yesterday two weeks after finishing six months of chemotherapy. She is inspirational and I am in awe of how courageous and stoic she was through her treatment. It is because of research that Georgie and thousands like her can live such an inspirational life. Go Georgie !!! Go Can Too!”

Well done to all the Can Tooers who showed such determination to keep training through tough conditions as Team Captain Karlie Neale, (pictured below with race bib 2230) posted on instagram:

"14 weeks of training with these incredible humans in sun, torrential rain, thunderstorms, Covid chaos and a torn tendon = 9 cancer researchers funded and 140k raised for cancer research."

6 times a charm

A big round of applause to Can Too Hall of Famer, Werner Hettasch who completed his sixth marathon in the Barossa.

Thank you to the group of 20 Can Too Barossa marathoners who blasted their fundraising pledge by nearly 40 per cent.

Werner also won the marathon program’s I Can Too Challenge, see one of his posts below, in the slideshow, about his marathon Can Too journey.

Thank you to the Can Tooers who also lit up Facebook and Insta with an orange flame of posts from the events, see a selection of the posts and quotes below.


"It was great to be a part of Can Too again and feel I was running for such a good cause. The weather and scenery were perfect and I did a negative split finishing in 2 hours 14 mins which wasn’t bad for this arthritic 60 year old." - Elaine de Jager 

"I was very moved by our Can Too Founder, Annie Crawford’s motivational speech after our warm up: We are the lucky ones. We are the healthy, strong ones who can run and we are doing this to help those that can’t. That’s all I kept thinking about, and on the last few kms home, I kept seeing the beautiful faces of all the children, teenagers and parents we met on the oncology ward the last two years. Life is just not fair sometimes. To the families we’ve met on Orson’s leukaemia journey, I thought of you all and was sending you all my love and strength this morning." - Teue May Collier

Read more in her insta post and learn more about how her son’s cancer diagnosis changed her life.  

"It was a stunning autumn/winter morning to go for a run through the vineyards. With a brisk start I couldn’t feel my legs or feet for the first 2km. As I warmed up, the sun glistened beautifully against the autumn colours of the vineyard and I was getting into a grove. It was awesome to see so many Can Too runners supporting each other as we passed … So another medal to the pool room and time to crack the champagne, cheers everyone! - Karen Ingram

Read Karen's post in full here

 “I smashed my record by 6mins! Finishing today’s awesome halfmarathon at 2:15hrs a beautiful day, a manageable, faster course, with great mates and an awesome organisation!" - Maricar Wicks

Thanks to Can Too Ambassador Heather Hawkins

Thank you to Can Too Ambassador, Heather Hawkins for attending the Sydney event.

“There’s no better way to recharge my smile than by getting out there with Can Too Run and Swim and running a half marathon.

“With this event they have raised nearly an incredible $140,000 for cancer research - wow and thank you! - and it was really lovely catching up with wonderful friends too,”


See more of the action from the day with a short event video and collage of Can Too photos below.

Thank you to the Can Too Community for setting the Barossa and Sydney alight with a flame of inspiration to beat cancer by running for those that can’t.

*Fundraising report run on 3 June 2021. 

Find your next running goal. Can Too's Blackmores Half Marathon and 10km run programs are now open. Find out more and register here: