After 2 years, the Terry Fox Run is back in person

Thousands of British Columbians hit the pavement this Sunday as the 42nd annual Terry Fox Run returned in person after two years of COVID-19 restrictions.

The annual race that began in 1981 has raised more than $850 million to date for 1,300 cancer research projects.

In 2020 and 2021, people completed races virtually — on their own — because of the pandemic, but this year organizers expected throngs of participants to participate in person.

According to the Terry Fox Foundation, some four million people in 560 communities will participate by running, walking, rollerblading or cycling.

“It’s exciting. There’s a hell of an energy in the air that goes back to in-person races,” said Michael Mazza, general manager of the Terry Fox Run, in an interview with The first edition host Stephen Quinn on Friday.

“I think we forgot how much we missed coming together as a community, and then we kind of forgot how hard it is to come together.”

Participants in the Terry Fox Run ran along the waterfront in Kelowna, B.C. on Sunday, September 18, 2022. (Winston Szeto/CBC)

During the race from Vancouver to Stanley Park on Sunday, Jack Basterfield of the Terry Fox Foundation called the response “incredible”.

“Even before we got here today, we actually raised more money on the Stanley Park run than we’ve ever raised,” he said.

Among the Stanley Park participants, Gordon Eaton, an 80-year-old prostate cancer survivor, said it was his 42nd year running.

“We need young people to keep this going. As you know, cancer can be beaten,” he said.

The Terry Fox Run in Stanley Park in Vancouver drew large crowds on Sunday, September 18, 2022.
The Terry Fox Run in Stanley Park in Vancouver drew large crowds on Sunday, September 18, 2022. (Shawn Foss/CBC)

In northeast British Columbia, residents of the small community of Hudson’s Hope took to the streets running just a day after being allowed to return home following an evacuation order linked to the the Battleship Mountain fire.

Organizer James Naisby said he did not make the final decision to participate until he woke up on Sunday morning.

“Our house is still there. Everything seems pretty normal,” he told CBC News.

Remembering Terry’s Legacy

The run marks 42 years since Terry Fox launched the Marathon of Hope in St. John’s, NL.

The 21-year-old from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, had lost part of his right leg to cancer when he was 18. He planned to run across Canada to raise money for the disease, running a marathon every day.

He made it as far as Thunder Bay, Ontario before the cancer spread to his lungs and he had to stop.

He died before he could complete his journey, but in doing so he raised over $24 million. The foundation created in his name has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research in the four decades since Fox’s death.

During the pandemic, participants were asked to complete the races independently. Mazza said he saw a 30% drop in donations, with little change in the past year. “This year we hope to surpass that,” he said.

Michael Humer was 18 when Fox attempted to run across Canada in 1980. Today, Humer is a thoracic surgeon at Kelowna General Hospital, examining non-cardiac conditions of the chest, such as lung and heart cancer. the esophagus.

“What Terry is doing is so appropriate for my career. I’m doing well in my career and we’ve seen huge improvements with cancer survivorship, but obviously we still have a long way to go and that’s what efforts Terry’s fundraising activities have all been and we continue to be so,” Humer said. South Dawn host Chris Walker on Friday.

Terry Fox is running along a road with a car behind him.  He wears a shirt that reads
Terry Fox is pictured on his run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He did not finish the race and died in a Vancouver hospital in 1981. (The Canadian Press)

Humer himself has taken part in a dozen races and will put on his runners again this Sunday.

“It’s the 42nd race. The irony is that 42 kilometers is a marathon, and Terry actually ran a marathon every day for 143 days in 1980, so we’ll continue his legacy on Sunday.”

The first edition7:21The Terry Fox Run is back after a two-year hiatus during the pandemic

Terry Fox Foundation CEO Michael Mazza chats with Stephen Quinn about the return of the annual tradition.

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