Annual Terry Fox runs across Canada – including three held in Langley – will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision to hold the fundraiser online was made back in May, with all runs nation-wide taking place on Sept. 20.
Aldergrove, Langley City, and Walnut Grove have all made adjustments this year to host different variations of a virtual fundraiser and run.
There are typically 112 runs that are happening around the province, according to Donna White, provincial director of the Terry Fox Foundation.
This year is set to mark the 40th anniversary of Terry Fox runs, which have raised millions of dollars towards cancer research over the decades.
Emma Stewart, an organizer for the Aldergrove Terry Fox run, said it is unfortunate to have an anniversary fall during COVID, but at the same time illustrative of the hardships that Terry had to endure, adapt to, and rise above.
“Every dollar matters and this year, through everything, it is so important to keep his dream alive,” Stewart said. “Our goal is to raise $5000 with this year’s virtual run – matching last year’s total. We have raised $1525 so far.”
Stewart added that Aldergrove is looking for and promoting local businesses to sell this year’s Terry Fox shirt in-store at and encouraged others to start thinking about registering as a team and fundraise together.
“We will be hosting a silent auction on our Facebook page Aldergrove Terry Fox Run with donated items from the community,” Stewart added. “We normally do this in person and have great responses so it will be the same idea, just online.”
In Langley City, organizer Danette Haar is touting Sept. 20th as “Not Your Usual Terry Fox Run” that can be done “one day, your way.”
“After Terry was forced to stop he said, ‘even though I’m not running anymore, people should go ahead and try to do their own thing’,” Haar said. “Today, 40 years later, we are in a year that is challenging us more than we could have ever expected. We have to think outside the box to make the best of our 2020 participation.”
She said this year’s walk can be short or long, fun or intense, alone or inside your bubble.
“People can go out anytime on the 20th, whenever, wherever they would like,” Haar said. “The Langley City run is planning to have some “Terry rocks” on our traditional five km route to see if you can spot while out for a walk or run.”
The rocks will be placed by Sept. 7 and will stay there until at least Sept. 21.
Walnut Grove will also hold their annual run in a virtual “One Day, Your Way” format on Sept. 20.
Fox began what became known as the Marathon of Hope on April 12, 1980.
The Port Coquitlam native dipped his prosthetic leg in the Atlantic Ocean near St. John’s, N.L. on April 12, 1980, with the aim of running across Canada and finishing at the Pacific Ocean in Victoria, B.C.
He was forced to abandon his journey at Thunder Bay, Ont., because cancer had spread to other parts of his body.
Fox passed away on June 28, 1981 at the age of 22.
The first Terry Fox run was held that September.
People can register for the Aldergrove, Langley City, and Walnut Grove runs online at www.terryfox.org/run/ and fundraise or donate directly to the run of their choice.
“Terry Fox had a single dream: a world without cancer. Help us make his dream a reality by registering to fundraise for cancer research,” Haar asked, adding that she couldn’t think of anything that Terry would appreciate more than continuing the fight.
Is there more to this story?