This Sunday will mark the 25 th anniversary of the Terry Fox Run, an international event that picks up where cancer victim Terry Fox himself left off in 1980 while on a cross-country quest to raise money for cancer research.
To date the Terry Fox Run has raised an estimated $360 million for cancer research in Canada, with more than a thousand towns in Canada hosting events. Events are also held in 50 different countries.
Last year was a banner year in Whistler with close to 300 participants running, walking and biking the 5 km or 10 km courses, while raising over $11,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation. The 2004 run also set a record for Canada, with $21.1 million raised.
This years event takes place once again at the Riverside Campground and RV Park, and gets underway at 10 a.m. Get there early to register. Entry is by donation, and the there will be music, food, entertainment and prizes at the finish including prizes from the Four Seasons Resort, one of the headline sponsors for the Whistler event.
On Friday, Sept. 16, Spring Creek Elementary will take part in the first ever, National School Run. Over 1,580 schools in B.C. and the Yukon are expected to participate, along with schools from all over the country.
Terry Fox was an active 18 year old when bone cancer forced the amputation of his right leg six inches above the knee in 1977. During his hospital stay, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, including children, that he came up with a plan of running across Canada to raise money for cancer research.
He called his run the Marathon of Hope, and dipped his prosthetic leg into the ocean off St. Johns, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980 with a small amount of media attention.
As he ran news quickly spread, to the point that more than a million people lined the streets of Toronto to cheer on Terry.
Terry averaged 42 km, a full marathon, each and every day, and made 5.383 km in 143 days. He was forced to stop just short of Thunder Bay on Sept. 1 when cancer reappeared in his lungs. After battling the cancer with everything he had, Terry passed away on June 28, 1981 at the age of 22.
That fall a group of people who were inspired by the young runners journey hosted the inaugural Terry Fox Run to continue to raise money for cancer research. Since then the event has grown every year, with runs in every province and territory, throughout the U.S., and on every continent.
For more on Terry Fox visit www.terryfox.org.