Nearly four decades after the iconic Marathon of Hope, the lasting legacy and mission of Terry Fox have endured.
The 39th annual Sherwood Park Terry Fox Run is set for Sunday, Sept. 15 at Broadmoor Lake Park and this year the event is expected to surpass past goals and offer an additional, more challenging route.
Like in past years, the two-kilometre and 5km walk, run, or bike will remain, but a 10km course has been added. Dogs and strollers are welcome. There is no fee to participate.
“Last year, we received feedback that people were interested in the 10km route, so we looked at how we can accomplish that. People were looking for something a little bit more challenging,” said Heather Bonokoski, Sherwood Park Terry Fox Run. “The 10km runners will start first to get ahead of everyone and people can walk if they so chose. It allows us to provide more of a challenge for those who want it, while still keeping the tradition of a non-competitive atmosphere.”
The 2018 local Terry Fox Run saw 96 participants raise nearly $14,000. This year, organizers are aiming for 150 participants and $25,000 in donations. Currently, the event is only a third of the way there with only 45 people registered.
Volunteer are also desperately needed with only 23 of 50 spots filled. Duties include serving pancakes, collecting registrations, and setting up the route and venue.
“It’s about keeping this tradition alive. Every time someone volunteers, every time someone puts on a Terry Fox t-shirt, it keeps Terry’s Marathon of Hope going and the tradition going. Without the volunteers, we wouldn’t have gotten to 39 years. We’re not going to get to 40 years without the volunteers,” noted Bonokoski. “I volunteer so that my friends, my family, everyone has the opportunity to fight cancer and to fund research to bring an end to cancer.”
Stacey Davis volunteered in Yellowknife’s Terry Fox Run from 2003-07 and began volunteering and participating with her three sons once she returned to the Park in 2015. Her oldest son, Sam will also be volunteering for the second year because “Terry did something pretty big, this is something small but every step counts.”
“Cancer has affected many people in my life; grandparents, uncles, aunts, co-workers, friends, and my own sister. I participate for them and for my boys who also run, walk or ride in the stroller,” said the Park mom. “I volunteer so that these boys will grow up in a world where cancer becomes a curable illness or, better yet, completely preventable.”
Registration starts at 9 a.m. on Sept. 15 the first 50 registrants will receive a Mud, Sweat and Gears gift bag. Cora’s will be providing a free pancake breakfast and Starbucks will be on hand with free java. Face painting and entertainment will also correspond before the kickoff from 9 to 10 a.m.
To keep up to date on the event, check out the Sherwood Park Terry Fox Run on Facebook. To register for the run, go to terryfox.ca/terryfoxrun/sherwoodpark. For more info or to volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org.