THE memory of a popular colleague will be with Warrnambool’s Toni Wade when she runs the Koroit to Warrnambool half marathon this weekend.
Wade, 33, will run the 21.1-kilometre event on Sunday in honour of Kate Armbruster, who died after a battle with cancer on July 3.
Armbruster worked with Wade at Port Fairy’s GlaxoSmithKline factory and her death came as a shock to the tight-knit company.
It prompted Wade to raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation. She will lose her locks as part of its World’s Greatest Shave initiative.
“My goal is $5000 and I’m up to $3700,” Wade said.
“I was really hoping to have it done before the race because I’d be running without hair. But it doesn’t look like I’m going to get there. It’s slowed down.”
Wade said Armbruster, who was 41 when she died, “achieved so much” in life.
“She was so bright and bubbly, a huge smile on her face,” she said.
“She was part of the Uniting Church. She had a lot of friends through there and did a lot of volunteer work. Her life seemed so full. She seemed able to fit so much in. She was always professional at work. It was such a big shock. It makes you wonder why.”
Wade is a long-time member of the Warrnambool Athletics Club, which is organising this weekend’s event.
She has run the Koroit to Warrnambool half marathon two or three times “in between having kids”.
“My best time is an hour, 57 minutes. I’m hoping to do a bit better than that,” she said.
“Personally, it’s for fitness and health and stress relief from the kids. That’s my outlet.”
The Koroit to Warrnambool half marathon is part of the Crater to Coast Marathon Challenge.
Organisers will complete an inspection today to determine where they will have to re-route the event after part of the course was flooded by the Merri River and Kelly Swamp.