Duncan Terry Fox Run organizer Todd Frykas, seen here with CeeVacs member Wendy Marshall and Terry Fox Run volunteer Melanie Brancato, encourages the Cowichan Valley to take part in this year’s “virtual” Terry Fox Run on Sept. 20. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Terry Fox Run going ahead, but with changes due to COVID-19

This year marks 40th anniversary of iconic event

The 40th annual Terry Fox Run will take place on Sept. 20, but it won’t be the same as in previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Todd Frykas, the Terry Fox Run organizer in Duncan, said that while participants in the region won’t gather in one place to kick off the run this year, which is being called “Your Run, Your Way”, the Terry Fox organization wants participants to continue to take part in the event, whether it be individually, or with family or a small group of friends, to responsibly walk/run/ride during the pandemic.

Frykas said that it’s a bit ironic that this year, which was to mark the fourth decade of the event, that COVID-19 would come into play.

“It has posed some challenges to the Run and the thousands of event organizers and volunteers across this country, but in hindsight if Terry was still with us, he would have relished another challenge, another opportunity to prove that anything is possible if you believe in it strong enough,” he said.

“It will look different, but on Sept. 20, Terry Fox runs across the globe will take place. The event has meant so much to so many over the years that it’s vitally important to continue the tradition.”

In 1980, with one leg having been amputated due to cancer, B.C. resident Terry Fox embarked on an east to west cross-Canada run, beginning in St. John’s, Newfoundland, to raise money and awareness for cancer research.

His goal was to persuade every Canadian to donate one dollar for cancer research.

Fox had to cut short his run in Ontario when the cancer he thought he had fought off three years earlier returned.

While the dream to run across the country died, Fox’s dream to raise money and awareness thrived with the birth of the annual Terry Fox Run.

Frykas said that if Fox were here today, his message would always be the same; to never give up.

But this year, he said Fox would ask people to please participate using the protocols of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and to stay safe.

“On Friday, Sept. 18, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., CHEK TV will be hosting a telethon, focusing all non-news segments on everything Terry,” Frykas said.

“I hope to see you out supporting the event on Sept. 20, ‘Your Way!’”

Terry Fox Run

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