Marathon of Hope in 1980: 4,901 kilometre mark in Wawa, Ont. (Terry Fox Foundation photo)

Marathon of Hope in 1980: 4,901 kilometre mark in Wawa, Ont. (Terry Fox Foundation photo)

40th annual Terry Fox runs to be held virtually this year due to COVID-19

The runs, planned in 700 cities across the country, will be hosted virtually on Sept. 20, 2020

Annual Terry Fox runs across the country will be held virtually this year, organizers have confirmed, making it the latest large-scale event to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Terry Fox Foundation community events director, Donna White, confirmed the change to the Sept. 20 event in an email to Black Press Media, as first reported by Richard Dal Monte on social media.

One of Burns Lake orgainzer Carla Carlson who doesn’t yet have a lot of information on what the virtual run would actually entail, said, “I haven’t received any clear instructions from the Terry Fox foundation other than it’s going to be a virtual run, and I just don’t know what that’s going to look like.”

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.

“Terry once said, ‘anything is possible if you try.’ He was an innovator, attempting to run across Canada on one leg on a humanitarian mission we had never seen before,” a statement on the Terry Fox Foundation reads.

“Today, 40 years later, we will have to innovate as well – we can’t think of anything that Terry would appreciate more.”

More details on the virtual event will be released in coming months, the foundation added.

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ALSO READ: Canadian icon and hero Terry Fox died 38 years ago today

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 didn’t make it.

He was forced to abandon his journey at Thunder Bay, Ont., because of pneumonia, caused by his cancer becoming metastatic and spreading to other parts of his body.

It was just after 4:30 a.m. on June 28, 1981, when Fox’s family shared the last few moments of his life while he remained in a coma at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. He was 22 years old.

The first Terry Fox run was held that September.


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