BY BILL PHILLIPS
The Terry Fox statue by the Four Seasons Pool has, traditionally, been the starting point for the annual Terry Fox Run in Prince George.
There will be a break with tradition this year, as construction downtown has made the usual route for the 38th annual run problematic. Not to worry, the new route is nothing less than spectacular.
“We’re going to start at The Exploration Place, right next to Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park,” says Scott McWalter, local organizer for the Terry Fox Run. “We’re going all the way to Cottonwood Island and back. Eighty per cent of this year’s route is right next to water. Very scenic.
It’s still a five-kilometre route and even though it’s called a run, it is non-competitive and participants can run, walk, big, jog, wheel, cycle, the important thing to take part in the run and remember the legacy of Terry Fox and support the Terry Fox Foundation’s fight to conquer cancer.
McWalter is expecting more than 1,000 participants for the run, although the weather can play role in how many people participate. While the run will raise about $10,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation, it’s about so much more.
“It’s about raising awareness for Terry Fox and continuing his legacy, not only with his history in Prince George, but across Canada as well,” he said. “The event is free to attend, but individuals or groups want to donate they can.”
The Terry Fox Run has always been a family event.
“Bring the kids, bring grandma and grandpa, bring your dogs, with a leash, of course,” said McWalter. “The biggest misconception is that people think it is a run, when only about 10 per cent of participants will run. The remaining with walk, or bike ride, or roller blade, or wheelchair. It’s totally up to you.
“Do it at your own pace and let’s remember Terry for the iconic Canadian hero he was,” he said.
As per tradition, Dick Voneugen will blow the horn to start the race and Tom Masich will be on hand as well.
The new venue is perfect for this year as Tracy Calogheros, CEO of The Exploration Place, and the University of Northern British Columbia president Dr. Daniel Weeks will make an announcement just before the race begins.
“It’s going to be something that’s going to knock this community’s socks off,” said McWalter.
There will be vendors on hand such as Tim Horton’s, Booster Juice, David’s Tea, the PrepNut, and the Integris Credit Union/Save On Foods barbecue and more.
Registration starts at 9 a.m. Sunday, September 16, in the parking lot at The Exploration Place and the run gets underway at 10 a.m.