Richard Simmons to lead 9-hour fitness marathon for breast cancer, world record

It seems Nova Scotians are more than willing to bust out their wallets in support of breast cancer treatment in the province.

It seems Nova Scotians are more than willing to bust out their wallets in support of breast cancer treatment in the province.

Organizers of the Bust a Move for Breast Cancer event — set to take place Saturday at the Halifax Metro Centre — said Thursday they had already gathered $794,119 to support the purchase of a new digital mammography unit to serve women from across the province. Their original goal was $750,000.

“We’re thrilled with the overwhelming response,” said event chair Marie Mullally. “It shows that people really want to give to this cause. Breast cancer affects so many women, and families and communities.”

Around 1,000 participants have been gathering pledges for almost three months, said Mullally, and come Saturday, they will descend on the Metro Centre for a nine-hour exercise extravaganza organized by the QEII and IWK Foundations. The exercisers will be led by fitness instructors from around the Halifax Regional Municipality, along with fitness guru and short-shorts enthusiast Richard Simmons. It will be the 61-year-old celebrity’s first visit to Nova Scotia.

“One of our organizers was just speaking to him at lunchtime, and he’s thrilled to be coming to Halifax,” Mullally said. “I think he’s going to be a big hit.”

Organizers are still hoping that the sheer number of people involved in the marathon will be enough to break two world records related to mass-fitness events. Details of the record attempts are still being kept under wraps, but a representative from Guinness World Records is reportedly flying in for the festivities.

“We’re very hopeful that in our closing ceremony he’ll be presenting us with certificates confirming the two records,” Mullally said.

 
 
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