Terry Fox's legend only grows over the years, with this Sunday, Sept. 15 marking the 32nd anniversary of the inaugural Terry Fox Run back in 1981.
Over 9,000 runs are held worldwide every year to raise money for cancer treatment and research, honouring the mission Fox started in Canada in 1980.
Fox set out from the coast near St. John's Newfoundland with the goal of running a marathon every single day as he crossed Canada, dipping his prosthetic leg into the Atlantic Ocean after losing his right leg to cancer a few years before. He called his fundraiser the "Marathon of Hope," picking up momentum as he ran. His original goal was to raise $1 million, then $10 million, and then $1 for every person in Canada — about $24 million at the time. Fox completed 5,373 kilometres of his run until he was forced to stop in Northern Ontario after he was diagnosed with cancer once again. He vowed to continue his run where he left off, but passed away the following June, just one month shy of his 23rd birthday.
While he never completed his run, that fall people started to continue the run for him and the first Terry Fox Run was held a few months later in a few locations. That event raised over $3.5 million, with momentum picking up ever year.
Since then, the Terry Fox Run has shattered Fox's original goal, and to date has earned well over $600 million for the Terry Fox Foundation.
Just as Four Seasons hotel founder Isadore Sharp was one of Fox's biggest supporters in 1980, the Four Seasons chain continues to be one of his biggest supporters today and hosts a race event everywhere they have a hotel. They took over management of the Whistler Terry Fox Run when a Four Seasons opened here as well, and have raised over $15,000 a year in recent years towards the cause.
The Whistler event gets underway with registration at 10 a.m., and the run starting at 11 a.m. There are two distances, 4.2km and 7.2km, in Lost Lake Park. Bikes, walkers and participants with dogs on leashes are also welcome.
Participation is by donation, and runners can purchase tickets to win draw prizes including stays at Four Seasons resorts.