Participants of the 2019 Terry Fox Run walked, biked, ran and scootered along Lakeshore Drive on a new course which took them from Lighthouse Park, along Lakeshore Drive, to Petro Beach and into Old Jarvis Bay. Those who weren’t looking to do a full 10 km run had the option to do a 2 km or 5 km run instead. Photos by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Sylvan Lake Terry Fox Run sees largest turnout ever

The annual run took a new course, starting at Lighthouse Park, going along Lakeshore to Jarvis Bay

This year’s Terry Fox Run had the largest turnout since the Sylvan Lake run started in the early 2000s.

Around the country, Canadians walked, biked and ran in the name of Terry Fox. in Sylvan Lake roughly 80 participants took part in the scenic run along the lake.

Organizer Scott McDermott says the number of participants at this year’s run was the most seen by a lot.

“The weather may have had a lot to do with it. It [was] beautiful day. Last year it was snowing, the year before that it felt like a hurricane and the year before that I think we had sideways wind,” McDermott said.

The roughly 80 participants at this year’s event brought in $3,020 for the Terry Fox Foundation, according to the event page on terryfox.ca.

McDermott says who and what the run is for is important to the people participating, because they want to know the money they donate is being put to good use.

“The thing about the Terry Fox Foundation is that it is still a family-run organization. They only take 14 per cent of the proceeds for administration,” McDermott said.

“Many other charity runs take 50, 60, 70 per cent from administration. I saw one that took 96 per cent for administration.”

Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope still resonates with Canadians 39 years later because cancer is still a pressing concern, McDermott says.

When asked who has been affected by cancer before the run began Sunday morning, nearly every person in attendance raised their hand.

“It’s because cancer sucks,” McDermott said. “Everyone is connected to someone who has or had cancer, and that’s the sad reality of it.”

McDermott continued to say the Terry Fox Run and its foundation are still important today because of the work they put in to cancer research.

The Terry Fox Foundation is one of the leading national investors in cancer research. The foundation has directed an estimated $21.8 million to cancer research.

“Treatment and research has come a long way. The cancer that killed Terry is 100 per cent curable today,” said McDermott.

McDermott says it wasn’t just Fox’s fight with cancer, which he lost in June 1981, that has Canadians coming out for the Terry Fox Run each year. He says it is because Fox is the symbol of the Canadian Spirit.

“You know, he didn’t give up, he kept on going on a prosthetic leg that wasn’t meant to run on, it was meant to look like a regular leg in pants.”

Over $715 million has been raised for cancer research in the name of Terry Fox.

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