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Annual Terry Fox run ported to virtual platform

Conception Bay South, Harbour Grace, Paradise, and Mount Pearl among communities participating

By Mark Squibb | June 25, 2020

40 years ago this April, Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope odyssey in St. John’s, Newfoundland.  Running an average of 42 kilometres a day, Fox would end his journey outside Thunder Bay, Ontario, on Sept. 1, 1980, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres. The cancer had spread to his lungs.

Fox passed away on June 28, 1981, but not after first inspiring a nation and starting a movement.

Today, the Terry Fox Foundation claims to have raised over $700,000 million towards cancer research.

In the foundations annual fundraising toolbox in the Terry Fox Run in September.

This year, the Foundation has had to adapt the race because due to the public health and safety guidelines put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

 “What we’re asking people to do on September 20, which is run day, is too still go out and participate, but to do it on your own,” explained Kirk Leach, Provincial Director.

That can include running, biking, or walking.

 “It’s really just deciding what you want to do on that day to honour Terry and respect the rules of your province as it relates to COVID-19,” said Leach

“So, in CBS as an example, people would go to Manuels River Trail typically to do their run, and they would all do their run together. But this year, people will follow the rules that have been outlined by the province. So, if that means you can run with five people, or walk with five people, then you can do that.

 “Do it in a way that follows the rules, while still honouring Terry, and raising much needed funds for cancer research.”

Fittingly, this year’s theme is “One Day. Your Way.”

Leach said it was important that the event continue in some form, especially as 2020 marks the fortieth anniversary of Foxes run.

“Cancer isn’t waiting for COVID-19 to end, so we need to be creative and find a way to still carry on our mission to find much-needed funds to find a cure for cancer… especially with this being the fortieth anniversary of the run. We wanted to make sure the run could go ahead in some way and do it in a way that was safe for everybody. We don’t want anyone getting sick as a result of participating in our event.”

Plans had been in place for an event in April past, that unfortunately had to be shelfved due to COVID-19.

“On the April 12 date, when Terry started his here in Newfoundland, we had planned for members of the Fox family to be here and for it to be a big event. So, unfortunately, we weren’t able to do that,” said Leach.

“We can’t celebrate in the big way that we wanted too. But we want people to celebrate on that day in their own way.”

Leached encouraged people to get involved, get registered, and get moving on September 20.

34 communities  runs across the province, including Conception Bay South, Harbour Grace, Paradise, and Mount Pearl, are participating in the run.

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