Participants begin their route at the 2017 Terry Fox Run in Quesnel. This year’s event will again see runners, walkers and cyclists of all ages take off from LeBourdais Park on Sunday Sept. 16. Melanie Law photos

Quesnel’s 38th Annual Terry Fox Run to take place this weekend

Registration will open at 9 a.m. at Lebourdais Park, and the run will start at 10 a.m.

Cathy Walsh has been taking part in the Terry Fox Run ever since the first run in 1981.

Now, Walsh helps to organize the annual run with the Quesnel Rotary Club.

This year’s event will take place this Sunday, Sept. 16. Registration starts at 9 a.m. in Lebourdais Park, where Mayor Bob Simpson, MLA Coralee Oakes and Cariboo Regional District Director John Massier will also be in attendance.

There will be coffee served at the park and a fitness instructor to warm up the crowd before participants take off down the trail.

Participants take part in the run by donation; they can pledge online, ask their friends for donations or register and donate when they arrive at the park.

The run is 5.5 kilometres in length (although it can be shortened if needed), and open to walkers, runners and cyclists, as well as being accessible for anyone with a wheelchair or stroller. Leashed dogs are also welcome on the walk.

Last year the Quesnel Terry Fox Run had 125 participants who raised $18,688 for cancer research, “which I think is pretty wonderful,” says Walsh. “Everybody does what they can.”

Of that total, $14,295.34 was raised by the Quesnel Family Fun Group, comprised of Gary McLean, Shane Rawling, Joyce Standbridge, Mary-Ann Kopetski and Elaine Kopetski, through bottle drives, donations and other fundraising initiatives they ran throughout the year.

READ MORE: Quesnel Terry Fox Run raises more than $18,000 for Cancer Research

The Terry Fox Foundation will be focusing funds raised on research for pancreatic, lung and bronchus, liver, and brain cancers this year.

Terry Fox’s legacy

Terry Fox grew up in Port Coquitlam, B.C.

As a teenager, he developed bone cancer and was forced to have his right leg amputated about 15 centimetres above the knee. He was 18 years old.

While he was in hospital, Terry met many other young cancer patients. It was an experience which led him to begin training for what he would later call the Marathon of Hope. He trained for his run across Canada for 18 months, running over 5,000 kilometres in that time.

On April 12, 1980, just three years after having his leg amputated, he started his run in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

He ran approximately 42 kilometres a day, with the goal to raise a dollar for every Canadian.

His run lasted 143 days, before he was forced to stop because a cancer had developed in his lungs. His run ended outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario, on Sept. 1, 1980, and he died on June 28, 1981, less than a year later.

But the Terry Fox Run, in memory of Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope, is a tradition that has persisted across Canada ever since. More than 10,000 communities across Canada take part in the run each year.

Terry Fox Runs take place not only in Canada, but in 32 countries around the world and on five continents.

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