Help make Clarington Terry Fox Run the biggest yet
Steve Kay, co-chair of the organizing committee for the Clarington Terry Fox run hopes residents will turn out in force on Sunday September 15 to make the event the biggest yet.
“We’re always in the top-20 in Ontario as far as participation and fundraising goes. We’ve been as high as number 10 in the past,” Kay told Durham Post.
“Our goal is to move up this year,” said while pointing out that it is an achievement for the community when compared to big Ontario towns like Oakville and Burlington. “They’re big towns, and for Clarington to rank up there is fantastic.”
He said the effort is on and hopefully, it will pay off. “Yes, we’re ramping it up. We have a few more days to go. In Bowmanville, the run has been going on since 1983 and every year we have between 700 and 900 participants.”
Kay paid tribute to the sponsors and volunteers. “We have more than a hundred people helping us out to make it all work. All voluntary. We get support from all sectors of the community.
“Bowmanville Rotary, Courtice Rotary, Newcastle Lions, Bowmanville Lions, Regional Police, the Municipality, the Kingsman, the Scouts and the Guides, and the Air Cadets, all chip in. Every sector you can imagine, is excited to help with the Terry Fox Run,” said Kay.
This year, the organizers have “nice” shirts and pots of mums (chrysanthemums) for sale. All the money raised goes straight to the Terry Fox Foundation.
Uniquely Canadian Cause
“Terry Fox was a real Canadian hero. The Terry Fox Foundation that we’re raising all this money for, they’ve done so much in these past almost 40 years now… to find a cure for cancer, and Terry’s goal was a cure within our lifetime. It feels like they’re getting closer everyday,” said Kay.
He disclosed that after last year, more than $58,000 was raised here. Since the run began, Clarington has been able to raise more than $1.6 million.
Terry Fox Story
Terrance Stanley Fox was born on 28 July 1958. he began the famous run in 1980 after one of his legs was amputated due to cancer. He dipped his leg in the Atlantic Ocean and his goal was to dip it in the Pacific Ocean. He made it halfway across to Thunder Bay before the cancer came raging back and took him. He died on 28 June 1981.
“The interesting thing is for most of his run people weren’t aware of him. It wasn’t until he got to Toronto that everyone really started paying attention to him. So he was still a bit of an unknown here in Bowmanville when he ran along Highway 2 to make his way across Canada. So the great part is that our run, a portion of it, happens on the route that Terry took,” Kay pointed out.
Though Highway 401 was there at the time, Terry ran across Highway 2 to Toronto.
What’s different this time?
“For a number of years, we’ve quietly talked about wanting to change the route, but it’s a big undertaking for a group of volunteers, and when you’re used to a pattern it’s easy to just repeat that each year,” said Steve.
This year the organizing committee was given a heads up by the town that a key corner on the route will be under construction and may not be passable on the day of the run.
“As there wasn’t a viable detour, we got together with the municipality and the police and figured out a new route. And as we were doing it, we thought we’ve got such lovely parkland and trail ends in town… why wouldn’t we maximize the use of those?
“So now, instead of running through industrial parkland and up along hill country roads, around 60 per cent of our route is through the valley trails. It’s going to be shady, it’s interesting, and there’s less of an altitude change so it’s a bit of an easier run. We are all very excited about it and the feedback we’ve been getting from people on social media is exciting. People seem to be noticing. We’re really hoping that’s going to result in an increase in our donations this year,” said Steve.
There is no fear that anybody will get lost as the route is fully marshalled. There are three water stations – one of them is going to be on Roenigk Drive entrance to the Bowmanville Creek. The next one is going to be at Mearns and Concession and the third one will be at Cameron’s and King Street just before they go into the Soper Creek Valley.
“The route is marshalled and we have lots of student volunteers to cheer and let people know which way to turn so nobody gets lost in the new route. It’s open to runners, walkers and bicyclists. It’s open to all. And we encourage families to come out.
- Registration begins at 8 in the morning on September 15th, Sunday at Memorial Park in Bowmanville.
- Opening Ceremonies begin at 9:30 and
- The run starts at 10 am.
Steve said it is not an event for professionals. “No, this isn’t a race by any stretch of the imagination. People are encouraged to just do it. Just to participate. Now, you always have a couple of energetic teenagers that get out early. It would be interesting to know what the course record is… we should keep track this year because there’s always a couple of real speedy runners in there. So that’ll be interesting to see.”
First of all, the runners will begin the event. Then, after a couple of minutes, the cyclists will be sent out as by then the runners will have stretched out and fast cyclist will be able to get around them. Immediately after the cyclists, go the walkers. There’ll be a sweeper that goes behind to make sure when the last person has passed each checkpoint so that no one is lost.
The entire route of 10 kilometres takes about an hour and a half to complete.
“All depends on how fast you go. Some people run the 10K it has little less 40 minutes. I think, on average, people are doing it in a little bit more than an hour and a half. We also have a 5K route. So if 10K sounds like too much, we welcome everyone to try the 5,” said Steve.
Asked if there are any half way dropouts, the co-organizer did not think so. “I think everyone’s in there know their abilities beforehand… and you know what – if they only wanted to do a couple kilometres and they decided they were going to have breakfast in Bowmanville at the Olympia Restaurant, then that’s great. We’re just happy they participated.”
To Register or Donate: www.terryfox.ca/terryfoxrun/clarington