Bev’s Mother’s Day triumph

FAMILY TRIUMPH: Bev Soulsby, centre, with granddaughter and 3.9km run winner Marissa, second from right, daughters Joanne, Donna and Paula and great-granddaughter Olivia after finishing Geelong Mother''s Day Classic. Picture: Luke Voogt

By Luke Voogt

Bev Soulsby, 79, completed a “mighty” recovery from major surgery by finishing Geelong Mother’s Day Classic arm-in-arm with her daughters on Sunday.

Four generations of family celebrated as the Ocean Grove great-grandmother crossed the line with Joanne, who flew in from WA, and Paula.

“I didn’t think it would be that far!” Bev said.

“But the girls kept me going.”

Bev underwent surgery in January to insert a shunt to drain fluid from her brain, caused by a condition called normal pressure hydrocephalus.

“It’s incredible … without the shunt I wouldn’t have had a chance,” she said.

And her granddaughter Marissa Munday won the women’s 3.9km run in 15 minutes flat, despite also having hydrocephalus and a shunt.

Bev’s family, including two great-grandchildren, walked with her while her daughter, Marissa’s mother Donna Hunt, also ran.

“Marissa’s beaten all my PBs except for a marathon,” Donna said, to which her daughter responded, “don’t worry, I’ll get ya.”

Donna said Bev’s movement had improved remarkably since the surgery.

Her mother had always watched her run the event and wanted to walk herself, so the family entered her as a recovery goal, Donna said.

Bev’s husband Geoff watched from the finish line after being delegated bag duty.

“After what she’s been through it’s a mighty effort,” he said.

More than 2000 people attended Geelong Mother’s Day Classic, raising money for breast cancer research.

Donations can still be made until 30 June at

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