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RUN GOES VIRTUAL – Runners in the 2019 Terry Fox run depart from Rotary Peace Park on Sept. 19. Because of COVID-19, the 2020 run will be held virtually Sept. 20.

Terry Fox Run goes virtual

On Sept. 20, Yukoners can participate in the nation-wide 2020 Terry Fox Run in memory of Terry Fox and those affected by cancer.

By Whitehorse Star on September 15, 2020

On Sept. 20, Yukoners can participate in the nation-wide 2020 Terry Fox Run in memory of Terry Fox and those affected by cancer.

The run will be held virtually. Entrants can walk, bike, run, whatever mode of transportation they choose, to support the cause and raise funds for cancer research.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this may not be the format many envisioned when the 40th anniversary of the run was being planned. Still, one of the two Yukon organizers, Pavlina Sudrich, feels excited.

“I’m excited about the format,” Sudrich said Monday. “Some people might be intimidated by an organized running event. This is kind of like a ‘choose your own adventure.’

“People can register at terryfox.org by going to the Whitehorse page on the site. Anyone in the Yukon can join.”

Sudrich acknowledged that it is a difficult time for many people due to COVID-19 concerns; however, it is still important to recognize those fighting or who have passed from cancer.

“It is a tricky time of year for sure,” said Sudrich. ”Terry’s legacy is important. There have been so many Yukoners affected by cancer. It is a time to memorialize the people lost and take action.

“It is a time to reflect and do something in the fight on cancer. Cancer isn’t on hold because of COVID; we can’t take our foot off the gas.”

Entrants in the 2020 Terry Fox Run are encouraged to take photos of themselves doing the run. They’re being asked to post their pictures on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #whitehorseterryfox.

“It being the 40th anniversary of the Terry Fox run, this is a cool way for people to connect virtually,” said Sudrich. “People can see all the others out there visiting the same thought.”

Sudrich said on Sept. 21, organizers will randomly select a winner and send them a prize.

On March 9, 1977, Fox discovered he had a malignant tumour in his right leg. The leg was amputated 15 inches above the knee.

Two years later, in February 1979, Fox began training for his Marathon of Hope. During his training, he ran over 5,000 kilometres.

On April 12, 1980, the Marathon of Hope began in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Fox dipped his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean and began his journey.

After 143 days and 5,373 kilometres, Fox stopped running outside Thunder Bay, Ont., on Sept. 1, 1980. His primary cancer had spread to his lungs.

The next day, Isadore Sharp, chair and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Restorts, contacted the Fox family with a commitment to organize a fundraising run that would be held every year in Terry’s name.

“When I started this run, I said that if we all gave one dollar, we’d have $22 million for cancer research, and I don’t care, man – there’s no reason that isn’t possible. No reason!” said Fox.

He died in the summer of 1981.

In April 2020, the foundation announced that more than $800 million has been raised to support cancer research in Fox’s name.

To register for the Yukon Terry Fox Run, people are to go to terryfox.org.

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