As Bunbury gears up for its annual running festival this weekend, a Perth marathon runner is taking the opportunity to run for a cause. Massimo Delia is among hundreds that are set to run in the Bunbury 3 Waters Running Festival, taking place on Sunday, and will be running to raise money for UNICEF Australia’s Syria and Turkey earthquake appeal. Mr Delia has pledged to raise $10,000 for the appeal to provide support to the children and families impacted by earthquakes in Turkey and northern Syria. He said the devastation of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which struck southern and central Turkey and northern and western Syria in February, hit very close to home. “My wife’s parents, sisters and brother live in the region hit by the earthquakes,” he said. “Everyone was impacted. Their houses are still standing, but both sisters are too scared to go back. “They have all lost friends or relatives. “Being so far away in Australia, I felt powerless to help. “I considered travelling there and trying to help on the ground, then I thought about buying tents and gear to send over there. “But the logistics of both made it a difficult option. “So, I decided to use my running and my business networks to make the difference. “This will be my 14th marathon and it’s the first time I’ve fundraised like this.” Despite a couple of setbacks affecting his training schedule, Mr Delia, who has raised $8,605 so far, said he was determined to cross the finish line in Bunbury. “Without the proper training, it is challenging to compete,” he said. “But in this case, I am so motivated that no matter what, I will do it.” The Bunbury 3 Waters Running Festival is set to kick off from 6:30am at the Bunbury Recreation Ground and will feature four race lengths for runners of all ages and abilities. The Southern Ports Marathon will begin at 6:30am, followed by the Talison Lithium Half-Marathon at 7:30am, the Koombana Physio 10km run from 8am, and the Fitstop five-kilometre run from 8:10am. Registrations close on Thursday night. To make a donation, visit the UNICEF Australia website.