A number of Canadians took part in marathon-distance runs across the country last Friday, to commemorate the 33-year anniversary of the beginning of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope.
Each Canadian province had at least one volunteer running the marathon; Alberta’s was Sylvan Lake resident Karry Lukenbill, who was joined by members of her family for sections of her run.
The nationwide event was created last year by Montreal resident Eddy Nolan, who felt Canadians should commemorate the day Terry Fox began his cross-Canada run in support of cancer research.
“I think cancer has touched everybody, so when I saw that Eddy was recruiting people, I said I’ll volunteer,” said Lukenbill, whose sister-in-law died of cancer.
“Eddy worked really hard to get someone from every province to run the marathon, and we have eight returning people from last year, so we had to recruit a few new people.”
Lukenbill and her daughter Erika began the 26.2 mile run at the Sylvan Lake RCMP detachment early last Friday morning.
They then ran through Sylvan Lake before heading south on Highway 20 and toward Red Deer on Highway 11.
In Red Deer, Lukenbill was joined by her two great nephews, Carson (6) and Wyatt (4) Mcrobbie, before she concluded her run on the south side of the city.
Lukenbill admitted to not being a marathon-distance runner, and was stepping away from her preferred half marathon.
She felt that carrying out the run, however, would be a fitting tribute to the man who for 143 days ran an average distance of 26 miles.
“It’s not about speed, it’s just to get that distance in and wave the flag,” she said, adding that Fox’s legacy and influence today remain stronger than ever.
“Terry Fox, of course, was amazing,” she said. “With his foundation, 84 cents on the dollar goes to cancer research right off the top. This is the day he really started it all.”
The anniversary run, which Lukenbill was taking part in for the second time, is held to raise awareness of Fox and his endeavours.
Lukenbill said she intends to take part in the run again next year, and would welcome other runners to join her.