Humility. Social responsibility. Moral indignation. Self-effacing. These words come to mind when thinking of charity events such as these. Avon Running was born in Milan. 2015 marked 18 years since its establishment, a milestone achieved thanks to the more than 100,000 runners. The grand finale of the Avon Running tour ends with the race in Milano, which started on March 15th in Bari, as well as Florence on April 19th. The purpose of the event was to raise awareness to fight against domestic violence and to find the cure for breast cancer, to fight for all women.
The sports festival of Avon Cosmetics kicked off the celebrations on May 23rd in Piazza del Cannone in Parco Sempione with the Avon Running Village. Many wellness brands and events were available to participants. Additionally, women participants had the chance to have breast check ups by IEO-CCM Foundation doctors. A “river in pink and green” with thousands of hearts beating as one to say no to domestic violence and combat breast cancer. Not only for women, the event allowed men to be involved. To men who love and fight for the welfare of women, who believe in gender equality for their wives, daughters, sisters and mothers so that they are ultimately free to live in a world without prejudice.
A hard truth is that we all know someone who has suffered from breast cancer. According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, with nearly 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2012. It represents 25% of all cancers in women. Running this race was not simply for leisure, but my distinct motivation was for the all the women who are battling, have survived, suffered, lost and won the fight against breast cancer. They are the reason we run. Seeing first hand a family member suffer and lose her fight against breast cancer allows for my determination to fight this debilitating disease. The fight is not over until we find a cure for breast cancer.
Participants could choose from a 5km, 10km non-competitive or 10 km competitive race on May 24th which started from Piazza del Cannone and spanned through the most beautiful streets in the center of Milan. It was a serene, quiet Sunday morning as the streets and shops of Milan woke while runners passed. The high-end fashion stores watched in all their glory as my feet left them behind. From Brera, Via Manzoni and Via Montenapoleone, Piazza del Duomo to Piazza Cordusio until the finish line in Sempione Park.
Avon Running is also moral and socially responsible pursuit. The proceeds of the funds raised from the sale of the race bags is destined to social projects; for the Milan show, the proceeds will benefit the Foundation IEO-CCM & Don Mazzi Youth Centers Foundation. Last year, over 120,000 EUR was donated from the three stages and since 2005, Avon running has donated over 950,000 EUR.
10,000 women & 2,000 men participated in 2015. It is quite palpable that Avon Running is not just about the race. Quite simply, the movement of human beings is a symbol for a monumental step forward towards a cure for breast cancer and ending domestic violence. It is using our bodies as a vessel for optimism for those who have suffered and are suffering from breast cancer and domestic violence. This awareness allows for a deeper understanding of the human condition. Thank you Avon Running, Expo in Città and the city of Milan for being this inimitable impetus towards change.
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