In everyone’s life there seem to be a few events that are unforgettable and lead us to special memories and a desire to be better people.
For myself, watching Terry Fox make his way up the highway on his way to becoming one of the all-time Canadian heroes is a special memory.
His run was easy to observe since it went close by the campus in Fredericton where I was still a university student. Many of us kept track of his progress until he had to stop due to his deteriorating health.
After his passing, I was in my last year of study when the first Terry Fox Run was held. While the recent runs are very user friendly and encouraging to as many participants as possible, that first one was a bit different.
In Fredericton, it was held in April. The weather was still cool and the snows had yet to disappear. In fact, if I recall correctly, a few flakes joined us from the overcast skies.
There were two options for the run. You could do the half marathon or the complete marathon, I guess since Terry’s endeavour had been called the Marathon of Hope. Not being a regular runner, I chose the half marathon and splashed my way through while wearing gloves and as much clothing as I could. I think there were one or two water stations along the way. It was not a flat course but the hills were nit to daunting.
I’ve tried to be involved in the Terry Fox run on an annual basis. While teaching English in Japan, the local foreigner’s club was looking for an activity to sponsor and I suggested the run. It was the first one in the country outside of the Tokyo region and I think it is still being held on a yearly basis.
When I returned from Japan, I tried running the 10 km distance my first year. With the major injuries I had to my left leg from a judo accident, it meant wearing an ankle and a knee brace. It was not an enjoyable experience but the memory of Terry got me through.
My doctor asked me if I was crazy and suggested a shorter distance. I’ve done the 5 km distance but at this point I’m on the waiting list for a hip replacement so I’ll have to keep it down to a participation level at best.
Over the years, the Run has raised a great deal of money for cancer research and has increased the awareness of how we all need to take part in the effort.
The run here in Smithers is always a well organized affair and is this year once again being led by Sandra McAulay. She has done the run for four years now and has branched out to include additional events such as a BBQ at Safeway that has raised additional finds for the cause.
The Smithers run will take place on Sunday, September 16 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. It will start from the Central Park Building.
The Hazelton run registration starts at 9 a.m. at Northwest Community College.
The Quick run is back for another year with registration starting at 12:30 p.m. at St. John’s Anglican Church.
Registration for the event will take place from 11 to noon, when the run will start. You can run, walk, ride, or stroll. Dogs on leash are welcome.
Participants are reminded that there is no minimum donation.