For the Lishomwa family, Sunday's The Canberra Times Fun Run was a celebration of hope.
The Gungahlin locals have received overwhelming community support following their four-year-old daughter Abigail Lishomwa's diagnosis with Rett syndrome in June last year.
The rare neurodevelopmental disorder almost exclusively affects girls, including eight in Canberra, and can impair speech, coordination, and movement. Abigail can currently walk, but does not speak and struggles to use her hands.
The family found an anonymous cheque in their mailbox last month to cover the cost of an eye gaze communication aid, which will eventually give Abigail her voice back. Sunday's run, which garnered the attendance of dozens of the Lishomwa's family and friends, saw them raise nearly $9,200 for the Rett Syndrome Association of Australia.
Their fundraising effort is ongoing on their fun run page.
Abigail's mum, Mary Lishomwa, said the money would be put towards pursuing a cure, and clinical trials for medication that may ease the symptoms of Rett syndrome.
"They've proven you can actually reverse the gene that causes Rett syndrome in mice," Mrs Lishomwa said.
"This is our first time fundraising and ... it has brought out the absolute best in our community.
"It's so heartwarming and as parents, this is our first chance to realise the love and support that is out there for us."
Others in the 3500-strong participant crowd treated the fun run as a challenge, with seasoned athletes dominating first place across the day's three legs: two kilometres, five kilometres, and 10 kilometres.
Many turned out to the event for fun; ACT Fire and Rescue's Tim Briggs, Jake Roarty, and Tim Burgess donned matching shirts with chicken nuggets on them as a celebration of their efforts to get fit.
"When we first enrolled or first got accepted into fire and rescue, we walked in with the rest of our college and were in the change room. The boys all got their rigs out and they were all cut," Mr Roarty said.
"The three of us got them out and had our dad bods, so we decided to form the College 39 Fat Club ... [we ran] with the [nuggets] theme and embraced it."
Mr Burgess added: "And then we got fit."
The fun run's oldest participant, 87-year-old John Beagle, said the course was one of the world's best. He wanted to encourage older people to "wear out, not rust out".
"[The fun run] really is something that people from other states ought to make a point of coming to because it's worthwhile," Mr Beagle said.
"Many Australians knock Canberra and they've never been here."
Hughes resident Tegan Ingold said it was the first time her five-year-old daughter, Audrey Ingold, could participate in a Times fun run event; the two-kilometre.
Up until Sunday, Audrey had to watch her mum from the sidelines, so she was happy to get on the track.
"It's a perfect day, really family friendly," Tegan Ingold said.
"I'm really excited that there's something [Audrey] can be involved in now."
The Times fun run raised nearly $38,500 across 125 fundraisers.