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Terry Fox Run to start at Powell River Recreation Complex

Fundraiser returns to in-person format on Sunday, September 18
ORIGINAL FORMAT: Terry Fox Run committee members [from left] Barry Butula, Leslie Paul, Corey Martin, Astrid Radcliffe and Caroline Hoekstra are getting ready for the annual fundraiser to return to an in-person event, with 3.5-kilometre and 10-kilometre routes planned for September 18.

After two years of virtual runs, where participants went out on their own, the Terry Fox Run is returning to its in-person format.

Run organizer Leslie Paul said this year’s event, the 42nd, will be held on September 18 at Powell River Recreation Complex, with registration beginning at 8:30 am and the run beginning at 10 am.

“We will definitely be at the complex, starting the route as usual,” said Paul. “There will be a 3.5-kilometre or a 10-kilometre run, which is the usual. People can do it however they want: on bikes, walking, running, or even skateboards. It doesn’t matter what mechanism they employ.”

Paul said the pancake breakfast sponsored by Save-On-Foods will again be part of this year’s event and efforts are being made to get as many of the past participating sponsors to be involved this year.

The recreation complex, as usual, will display memorabilia from past runs. Decades worth of photographs have been collected and are on boards in the building for people attending the race to see.

“People love looking at the photos,” said Paul.

The pictures go back to the early years of the local Terry Fox runs.

Paul said there is way more movement to online involvement with regard to the run. She said paper pledge sheets have gone by the wayside. A number of local stores used to have them for people but Terry Fox Run organizers don’t send them anymore.

Registration for the event takes place at by clicking on the Terry Fox Run tab at the top of the website. There is another tab for finding a run, and people can enter Powell River to find the local event.

“A lot of people want to make sure it goes to the Powell River run, and sometimes it’s not clear that’s what you’re doing, but that’s where it goes,” said Paul.

As usual, t-shirts will be sold at the event. They are $25 for adults and $20 for youth.

According to information from the Terry Fox Foundation, Fox was diagnosed with bone cancer in his right leg in 1977 and had his leg amputated above his knee.

Fox’s Marathon of Hope began in 1980 with the simple objective of informing Canadians about the importance of finding a cure of cancer. He ran an average of a marathon (42 kilometres) every day for 143 days. His run came to an end on September 1, 1980, when the cancer spread to his lungs.

By February 1, 1981, Fox’s dream of raising $1 for every Canadian was realized when the Marathon of Hope fund totalled more than $24 million.

The Terry Fox Run has evolved into the largest fundraising event in support of cancer research in the world, with events taking place in 33 countries across five continents annually, according to the Terry Fox Foundation. There are more than 10,000 runs in Canada.

According to the Terry Fox Foundation, 79 cents of every dollar goes directly to cancer research.

Paul said in 2021, about $12,000 was raised in qathet region, and in 2020, it was about $14,000. While these totals were lower than normal, it wasn’t by that much, added Paul. She said the usual total is around $16,000 to $17,000.

“We have dedicated people in our community,” said Paul. “Given that there is still a pandemic, people are more than welcome to wear masks at the Terry Fox Run.”