In the past 27 years the Terry Fox Run has raised more than $400 million for cancer research, and is gaining momentum each year with more runs, more participants, and more funds raised.
Whistler’s own Terry Fox run has more than doubled in size over the past five years, and last year more than 400 participants helped to raise over $14,000 for cancer research.
This year’s run, set for Sunday, Sept. 16, is expected to be bigger than ever with the addition of a new corporate challenge category, bigger draw prizes, a showing of the movie Terry that was produced on the 25 th anniversary of the first Terry Fox Run. The Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association (WORCA) is also donating a portion of entry fees from the inaugural Soo Valley Rumble, which was created for mountain bikers and will take place on the same day as the run.
Scott Taber, the manager of the Four Seasons Resort Whistler, believes this year’s event could be even bigger than past years’ runs.
“We’re looking for a great turnout this year,” he said. “Just look how big this community is, I’d like to see everybody out there. It’s such a great cause and Terry Fox is just such an amazing story. We’re doing our part to make sure his dream will stay alive.”
One way Taber is keeping the dream alive is through the addition of a new Corporate Challenge category in Whistler, encouraging businesses to challenge each other to participate on race day. The company with the most participating members of staff, most creative fundraising activities, most spirit, and most family members taking part will win an employee party for up to 75 people donated by Buffalo Bills that is valued at $5,000.
So far Crazy Canuck Steve Podborski and Mayor Ken Melamed have signed on to judge the corporate challenge.
To get people into the spirit of the event, the Four Seasons is also showing the CTV made-for-TV movie Terry in the Harmony Ballroom at 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 14. Entry is by donation, and families are welcome.
“We thought this would be a great event for families to teach their kids about Terry Fox, and to get people excited about the run on Sunday,” said Taber. “There are also a lot of people in town from other countries who might not know about Terry Fox and what he did.”
The movie recounts Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope in 1980, the attempted run across Canada to raise money for cancer research after losing his leg to bone cancer in 1977 at the age of 19. He made it to the north of Thunder Bay, a distance of 5,373 km in 143 days, when the cancer resurfaced in his lungs. Nobody knew who Terry Fox was when he dipped his prosthetic leg into the Atlantic Ocean that April, but by the time he was forced to stop running he was a Canadian hero.
Millions of Canadians contributed to the Marathon of Hope, including Four Seasons CEO Isadore Sharp — who met with Terry Fox and promised to keep his dream alive. Four Seasons hotels and resorts around the world now host annual runs and organize events in support of the Terry Fox Foundation.
This year mountain bikers are getting into the mix. Organizers of the Soo Valley Rumble are expecting over 100 riders to come out for the inaugural race, which will start at the dam in the Soo Valley and include the North Flank trail, White Knuckles, Big Kahuna, Section 102 and Kill Me Thrill Me. The ride will start at noon to allow more ambitious athletes to do both the run and ride. The after party will be at the Edgewater. More information will be posted online at www.worca.com .
To take part in the Terry Fox Run, registration opens at 9 a.m. at the Meadow Park Sports Centre fields, and both the 5 km and 10 km runs will get underway at 10 a.m. on the Valley Trail.
All participants in the run will get one ticket to the prize draw, which includes four-nights stay at the Four Seasons in Kona, Hawaii that’s worth $4,000, nights at the Delta Village Suites, entries into Dave Murray ski camps, gift certificates for local restaurants, and other prizes donated by local businesses. Additional raffle tickets will be available at the start and finish, with all proceeds going towards the Terry Fox Foundation.