More than 4,500 runners united along Melbourne’s foreshore on Sunday 16 September for the largest fundraising event for paediatric brain cancer.

Connor's RunRunning now for six years, Connor’s Run exceeded expectations, raising $1,015,732 – 145% of its fundraising goal this year and still counting.

The inaugural Connor’s Run in 2013 had just 1,000 participants and raised $115,000 to support eight projects in the fight against paediatric brain tumours, the number one disease killer of children in Australia. This year, funds raised will support 63 projects, including leading international brain cancer research.

Connor’s Run spans 18.8km to honour the life Connor Dawes, who lost his life to brain cancer in 2013 at the age of 18. It’s the same track Connor once ran in preparation for his upcoming rowing season – and the length of his life. A second run length is 9.6km representing Connor’s birthday, 9 June.

There were also four shadow events for Connor’s Run in 2018, from Townsville to Kokoda to the US.

CEO and Founder of the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation and mother to Connor, Liz Dawes, says she’s been blown away by the support for the event.

“Through the amazing efforts of our Connor’s Run supporters, we have reached a stage in our foundation where we are investing in some of the most important research into paediatric brain cancer around the world,” she says.

The funds from the run will support the foundation’s AIM Brain Project, which provides world-leading molecular diagnostic testing to every child in Australia and New Zealand diagnosed with a brain tumour. The funds will also support the work of Dr Misty Jenkins at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Dr Misty Jenkins’ research on immunotherapy could unlock a new paediatric brain cancer treatment that retrains the body’s own immune system to fight their cancer.

For more about Liz Dawes’ inspiring story of how she channelled her grief into creating Connor’s Run, read the article she wrote for F&P here.

For more information on Connor’s Run, visit

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