By NATALIA HAWK
When someone in your life is affected by cancer, it’s often difficult to know how to react.
You want to fix things. You want to make them all better again. But you can rarely do anything to remedy the situation – and that can leave you feeling pretty helpless.
Annie Crawford was left feeling helpless when she lost her father to bowel cancer. She wanted to raise money for cancer research, but she wasn’t quite sure how to go about it.
Annie had a background in social work and human resources, as well as a lifelong passion for running and fitness. And so she decided to start up an entirely new training program that somehow brought running and fundraising together.
With that decision, Can Too was born. It’s a non-for-profit organisation that runs group fitness sessions and puts together training programs for people who want to kick a fitness goal, while encouraging them to raise money for Cure Cancer Australia.
Can Too currently trains 9500 people in three different states (NSW, VIC and QLD) and so far, they’ve managed to raise $13.3 million dollars. Which is a whole lot of money for those who need it most.
I had a chat to Annie to find out more about Can Too and what motivates her to do what she does. Her insights were fascinating.
Nat: Why do people join Can Too?
Annie: We train people towards different goals that they want to achieve – such as run a 10km, run a half marathon, do an ocean swim or do a triathlon.
We train people for a lot of different reasons. Some people want to get fit and healthy, they’ve run a 5k but feel they need support to further their goals. Others join because their friend or family died of cancer – after all, its not just your journey, you’re giving back to the community with fundraising to cure cancer.
We started in 2005, the first night we had seven people and by the end of the first program we had 54 who raised $105,000. Now it’s been a huge success, far more than i ever imagined when I first stood there on the first night, scared stiff that no one would turn up at all.
N: Have you always had an interest in health and fitness? What kind of exercise do you typically do?
A: I’ve always been active and being doing long distance training for 25 years now. I was always athletic at school, always really been interested in a health and fit lifestyle… in moderation, though! I still like drinking on Friday nights.
I typically do running (about 50km per week), weights, yoga, triathlon (bike, swim and run). All through summer I do the swimming program because we have programs going throughout the year and I need to stay fit all through the year. I exercise six days per week.