Forty years ago, Terry Fox began planning what would become the Marathon of Hope. Over the next two years, he inspired a nation to not only care about him, but about his cause, and we haven’t forgotten.
Fox started off at the Atlantic Ocean and though his run didn’t take him all the way to the Pacific Ocean in 1980, the Terry Fox Run, the legacy of his marathon, turned into a coast-to-coast event. This Sunday, Sept. 15 the run will be held not far from the ocean, at Nanaimo’s Bowen Park.
It’s hard to believe today, but Fox’s run started off with little fanfare when he dipped the artificial leg he would run on into the Atlantic Ocean in St. John’s, N.L. Fox ran through five eastern provinces in a matter of months before hitting Ontario, and the headlines. By then, people had started to become aware of the brave young man’s dream, children and adults alike following his trek as he strove to fight his disease not just for himself, but those who have come after him.
Now, there is hardly anyone in Canada who has not seen footage of Fox’s run, his lopsided gait taking him steadily down lonely stretches of Canadian highway.
Though his legacy has become larger than life, the young man who lost his leg to cancer and the story of what he went on to do after that remain at the heart of it all.
In Nanaimo this weekend, the community can take up his cause, raise some money for cancer research, and run or walk with some of the same sort of hope that a Canadian hero had during his own run.
Registration for the Nanaimo event is 9 a.m. at the Bowen Park activity centre. The run begins at 10 a.m. with the start-finish line located at the Kin Pool parking lot.
Participants can choose the 1.8-kilometre route that loops through Bowen Park or they can opt for the 5.5-kilometre route, which goes through Bowen Park and loops around Buttertubs Marsh. Both routes are suitable for dogs on leash and bicycles.
For more information, visit http://terryfox.org.