Terry Fox Run back in Alberta as thousands run in support of cancer research

Hundred took part in the Terry Fox run in Edmonton Sunday morning. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC - image credit)
Hundred took part in the Terry Fox run in Edmonton Sunday morning. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC - image credit)

Across the country on Sunday, thousands of Canadians laced up their running shoes and pounded the pavement for the 42nd Terry Fox Run.

The annual fundraiser for cancer research was back in person, and across the province, Albertans ran once again in honour of the Canadian legend.

In Edmonton, more than 800 people ran to raise money and awareness for cancer research.


The crowd in the capital was smaller than past years, but still an impressive turn out as the city continues to deal with the pandemic, according to organizers.

"It's like a family reunion, you know?" said Edmonton organizer Darrin Park.

"Everybody sees everybody again … it's like meeting your old year old friends, like a high school reunion."

Honouring loved ones, survivors

Crowds were even bigger in Calgary, with more than 1500 runners. People of all ages — along with some furry friends — ran, biked and walked the race.

Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC
Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC

Many, like Tommy Dominique, said they were thinking of loved ones.

"My grandfather, he died of cancer in 2012, so that's one of my main motivations," Dominique said.

"He was up in my thoughts when I did that last [kilometre]."


For others, it's a reminder they survived, like Don Cowie, who lost his leg to cancer.

"It's a big day in the year for me because I went through the same thing that Terry did," he said, adding he's run almost every year since the fundraiser began.

Marc-Antoine Leblanc/Radio-Canada
Marc-Antoine Leblanc/Radio-Canada

Some who knew Fox before his passing, like his friend Ken Larson, also turned out. Larson spoke to the crowd in Calgary ahead of the race, and said his friend is still an inspiration not just in Canada but worldwide.

"You mention Terry Fox, almost in any country, people's eyes light up," Larson said.

"Then when I say, 'Yeah, I knew him,' all of a sudden people realize that he was a real guy … not just this myth and this legend."

Organizers said while more Canadians are surviving cancer today than 40 years ago, it's still the leading cause of death in the country.

"The fact that there are more people dying from it, but that there are more people surviving, it is proof that the research is starting to pay great dividends," said Paul Cox, who roganzied the run in Calgary.

As of Sunday morning, Edmontonians raised more than $50,000  for the Terry Fox Foundation, while Calgary brought in more than $227,000.