Whether you walk, run, bike, push a stroller or leash up the dog for a partner, everyone in Trail and Greater Area is encouraged to join the 37th Annual Terry Fox Run on Sunday.
Registration opens at 8 a.m. in Gyro Park with a mass start from Park Street at 10 a.m. Two routes either 5 km or 10 km will be marked and set, though participants are encouraged to show up early for a $5 plate of pancakes and sausage from the Trail Kiwanis volunteers. All breakfast proceeds are tallied into the Trail Terry Fox Run sum, and there’ll be an all important warm up session before the run begins.
Diane Langman has been coordinating the event for five years now, and she hopes to see even more than the usual 200 or so people – no matter the age – show up on Sunday.
Now the Mayor of Warfield, Langman first became involved after spotting a Trail Times ad stating that a Terry Fox Run coordinator was needed to keep the Trail run moving forward.
“This is such an amazing event put on every year,” she told the Times. “I didn’t want to see it disappear from the Trail area so I decided to get involved not just for me, but also for my kids, so that Terry’s dream stayed alive,” Langman said.
“And so our kids would be able to learn and appreciated everything Terry did in order to further cancer research.”
Langman keeps coming back year after year for another reason – to connect with all the dedicated people who take part in the day.
“I really like seeing the participants who come back again and again, collecting their year badge and adding it on to their certificates,” she said. “Terry’s dream was that if every Canadian donated just one dollar there is no limit to what could happen … it’s just a really great community event.”
Another person who laces up every year – this will be his 25th time – is past coordinator and a present organizer, Gord Mattson.
Mattson also says the run day highlight is all the moving stories he’s heard from participants in the Trail run, and, it’s those personal experiences that started his own involvement in the first place.
“We met some nurses at BC Children’s Hospital back in 1990,” Mattson shared. “They had looked after Terry Fox when he was at Children’s … this was 10 years later and they were still extremely emotional talking about him, it was very inspirational talking to them.”
Terry Fox left a torch for all of us, says Donna White, provincial director for the Terry Fox Foundation, BC and Yukon.
“The run is open and inclusive, there is no timing or prizes, ” White told the Times.
“Terry still inspires generations of Canadians, uniting the community through a cause that has touched each one of us at one point or another,” she said.
“Today we know more about cancer more than ever, and we have Terry to thank for that. So let us celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary by making the 37th annual Terry Fox Run the biggest one to date.”
Fox was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma in his right leg in 1977, and had his limb amputated 15 centimetres above the knee. While undergoing treatment, he was so affected by the suffering of other cancer patients that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research.
At the age of 22, Fox ran the equivalent of a marathon a day for 143 straight days before the spread of his own cancer stopped his journey.
“I’m not a dreamer, and I’m not saying this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles. I have to,” he said.
Since the New Westminster native ran his last miles in September 1980, more than $750 million has been raised worldwide to fund cancer research.