Terry Fox Run Marathon of Hope continues to live on in Nelson
Thirty minutes before Caden Hauck was ready to blow his horn to start the 36th annual Terry Fox Run Sunday morning at Lakeside Rotary Park, there was only a few runner registered for the event.
However, as Kootenay Time closed in on the race start, Nelsonites once again responded to the challenge of help raise money and awareness for cancer research.
More than 200 runners braved the cool morning to continue the dream of Terry Fox to find a cure for cancer.
“We’ve had quite a few people affected by cancer,” said Clint and Barb Saunders on the eve of their 36th time to participate in the Terry Fox Run.
“And this is our little way of helping to find a cure to stop cancer.”
It was 36 years ago Barb and Clint Saunders followed Terry Fox as he ran more than halfway across Canada, a total of 3,339 miles, one good leg and one prosthetic leg during his Marathon of Hope.
Terry Fox logged nearly a marathon a day over 143 days, and through his Marathon of Hope raised more than $23 million for cancer research.
However, on the 143rd day, Fox was forced to stop as the cancer that took his leg had spread to his lungs before taking his life in the summer of 1981 at age 22.
Each year since, on a Sunday in September, Terry Fox Runs have been held, growing to more than 4,000 venues in 56 nations.
Participants run, walk, ride and glide over courses of five and 10-kilometer distances.
Those runs have raised millions of dollars to fight cancer.
The local Kootenay Rhythm Dragons Dragon boat Team organizes the Nelson Terry Fox Run.
Pat Gibson was the emcee of Sunday’s event while Nelson Mayor Deb Kozak and Colleen Driscoll also spoke during the pre-race ceremony before Puleng Pratt took participants through the warm-up.
“We are grateful the weather was good, the run went smoothly (for the most part) and participants appeared to enjoy being involved in the run,” said organizer Pat Gibson, adding the 220 participants raised $10,250.
Sunday’s run in Nelson also saw the Robertson couple who now own the house Terry Fox grew in Port Coquitlam participate.
The Robertsons were in town to visit their son and decided to participate in the Nelson run.