By Herald on September 22, 2020.
Before a virtual lap was even run, the 40th annual Terry Fox Run was off and running.
Not even the COVID-19 pandemic could stop it.
Honouring the 40 years since the Marathon of Hope for cancer research, Lethbridge Terry Fox Run co-chairs Lorien Johansen and Bobbie Fox were at the Civic Centre Track Sunday morning.
They were the only ones there, yet they weren’t alone.
Rather, with pandemic protocol preaching social distancing and a lack of crowds, Johansen and Fox delivered a live feed from the Lethbridge Terry Fox Run Facebook page to this year’s participants, who were doing their recreational activity live on video instead of the normal in-person format.
As of Sunday morning, financial expectations were not only exceeded, but Johansen and Fox were setting a new goal before the day’s activities started.
“It’s been better than we expected,” said Johansen. “We heard a few months back in the spring that this is what we were going to do. We thought we would get a few thousand dollars, but people’s online participation has been so much better than expected. We’re closing in on raising $10,000 online and that’s easily double what we were expecting and hoping for. I think just with the way this year has been different, everybody is so much more willing to participate online because it’s become what everybody is doing. We’re really pleased and delighted everybody in Lethbridge has been so giving online and we’re going to probably rethink our strategy for next year and see if we can keep this trend going.”
Fox, whose father-in-law is Terry Fox Sr., Terry Fox’s uncle and a Lethbridge resident, is creating an exhibit for the Galt Museum on Lethbridge’s 40-year history with the run.
“It’s absolutely heartwarming as a Fox family member and as a historian to see what a place Terry has in everyone’s hearts and has had for the past 40 years,” she said. “There has never been a time when it was thought it was too much to participate. Everyone has always participated come rain, shine or snow. It actually snowed one year and people came out and supported. So COVID was just another challenge and everybody in Lethbridge has met that challenge just like Terry would have.”
The exhibit at the Galt should be up by the beginning of October, said Fox.
“It really delves into how Lethbridge has embraced Terry and his legacy or promoted over the last 40 years. It’ll be done through panels and pictures and a lot of amazing Lethbridge Herald archives I’ve been able to find that are heartwarming to see. We’ll advertise on our Facebook page when it comes out.”
Honouring the 40th anniversary of the run, Winston Churchill High School teacher Kevin McBeath kicked the distance up a notch.
“He’s running a full 26.2-mile marathon (Sunday),” said Johansen. “He’s been a participant of the Terry Fox Run for quite some time. We’re really pleased he’s doing the full marathon distance. Usually it’s a five-kilometre run, but he decided to blow it out of the water for the 40th.”
A full range of merchandise is also available at http://www.terryfox.org.
“There are also hoodies, toques, masks, hats and a couple of different variations of the shirt,” said Johansen. “Earlier in the year the hot-ticket item was the 40th anniversary reproduction by Adidas of the Orion shoes that Terry wore. If you can find them at all, they sold out within hours. But they were one of the special things that happened earlier in the year to kick off Terry Fox season.”
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