Trent Ernst, Editor
It’s been 32 years since the first Terry Fox Run was held in honour of one of Canada’s greatest national heroes, and 31 years since Terry Fox himself died from the cancer that he was seeking to find a cure for.
In that time, Canadians have raised more than $600-million to combat cancer. And not just Canadians. In 2012, there are 19 runs being held internationally in countries as diverse as China, the USA and Belgium.
In Tumbler Ridge, the run was held on September 16 at 1 pm. Participants could chose to run, walk or cycle the 2 km route, a 5 km route or a 10 km.
According to event organizer Joy Mckay, there were 32 participants this year, which is up from last year. However, the run only raised $621, which is down. McKay says that’s mostly due to the absence of Val Patriquin, who has consistently been one of the run’s biggest fundraisers. She was out of town this weekend.
Many of the people involved in the run were not out to raise funds, but to honour to memory of Terry Fox. Fox made it 5,373 kilometres in 143 days, almost to Thunder Bay, Ontario, before it was discovered that cancer had spread to his lungs.
Fox died nine months later, but before he did, he was contacted by entrepreneur Izzy Sharp who expressed an interest in holding an annual run to honour Fox’s achievements in raising awareness for cancer.
The idea exploded, and quickly become an annual tradition in many communities. In BC and the Yukon alone, there were 113 runs organized this year. All told, there were runs in 760 cities around the world, not counting school-based runs, which happened on the Thursday before the Terry Fox Run itself.