A Nelson Bay event that protests violence against women in an active and non-threatening way will return for a third year this month.
Reclaim the Run, founded by friends and runners Jaci Richards, Angie Physick and Jo Banner, shines a light on the social issue of women feeling they need to be in a group when exercising in public in order to feel safe.
“This [event] is about seeing women running in the evening and feeling safe, which is what we want all the time,” Ms Richards said.
Reclaim the Run, which is connected to the Reclaim the Night movement, was first held in Nelson Bay in 2015.
The event organisers had heard about a Newcastle reclaim run. But instead of travelling to take part of it, decided to organise one for the Bay.
“We came up with the idea to get our little run group together, about 20 women, to do one here,” Ms Banner said.
“It turned into 330 people. The community just jumped on board with it.”
About 250 people turned out to the event last year.
Reclaim the Run is a social event, not a race.
On the surface, it is about gathering women together to go for an easy run, jog or walk through Nelson Bay.
But on a deeper level, its aim is to create awareness and start a conversation about violence against women and to rally the community around the issue.
“It’s a chance for our community to join together to protest all forms of violence against women,” Ms Banner said.
“Although the main point of our event is awareness, connecting the community and creating conversation we are also fund-raising for our local counselling centre, the Yacaaba Centre.”
Money raised through the sale of 2017 Reclaim the Run singlets will go to the Yacaaba Centre. Singlet sales have now closed.
A bucket will be passed around on the night and a raffle held. Money raised from each will go to the centre.
This year’s run will be staged from d’Albora Marina, Nelson Bay from 6pm on Friday, October 27.
It is a free event that requires no sign up.
Women are encouraged to don a white shirt and simply turn out at the marina.
There are two Reclaim the Run course distances – 7km and 4km.
A post-event held will be at Evviva in Nelson Bay from 7.30pm. Tickets cost $20.
In addition to the run, this year’s event will include a screening of the documentary Iceberg by Kirrily Dear, an ultra runner and founder of the Run Against Violence campaign.
Iceberg tells the story of Ms Dear’s 2014 White Ribbon ultramarathon event where she ran 860kms through the Australian outback in 12 days.
It also includes real life stories from people who have experienced domestic violence.
Ms Dear has recently finished another marathon – running 1300kms from Broken Hill to Sydney.
Iceberg will screen at Nelson Bay Cinema from 6.30pm on Thursday, October 26.
Ms Dear will attend the screening and will be available to answer questions.
She will also be a guest speaker at Friday’s Reclaim the Run along with Port Stephens White Ribbon ambassador Roger Yeo and Mayor Ryan Palmer.
The run is a women-only event, however husbands, male partners and friends will help with marshaling along the track.