35th Terry Fox Run this Sunday

New route starts in Pitt Meadows.

Sebastien Wakeling and his mother Ali

Sebastien Wakeling and his mother Ali

If it rains this Sunday, don’t complain, just get out there and keep in mind that a mild shower on the B.C. coast in September is nothing compared to April in Newfoundland, where Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope in 1980.

For this, the 35th anniversary of the Terry Fox Run, organizer Ali Wakeling is hoping for a good turnout.

“We anticipate it to be rainy, but we don’t want that to stop anybody because certainly the weather never stopped Terry.

“We expect a minimum of 250 people. It’s really dependent on the weather,” Wakeling added.

Last year, the run drew 427 participants raising $16,497 for the foundation.

To go along with a major milestone of the event, the Terry Fox Run in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows has a new route, starting from Spirit Square park on Harris Road near the Pitt Meadows family recreation centre. Runners will proceed down Harris Road to Hammond Road and continue to Maple Ridge to ensure both communities are included.

Registration, which begins at 8:30 a.m., can now be done indoors and there will be machines available to accept credit card donations.

To fire up the crowd for the 10 a.m. start, Terry’s niece, Kirsten Fox will be speaking. She’s the daughter of Terry’s brother Fred, who lives in Maple Ridge.

“It’s going to be a really great day. How can it not be?  It’s for Terry Fox,” added Donna White, from the Terry Fox Foundation headquarters.

White is a breast cancer survivor and grew up in Surrey and remembers when Terry set out from his Port Coquitlam home to run across the country. Her dad was on a road crew at the time and saw Terry when he was training.

She’s now been with the foundation for 10 years and never tires talking about Terry.

“I go to work for my hero every day,” she added.

While many involved in the run now weren’t even alive when Terry began his run, the message is being carried through the generations, White said.

“You can walk through elementary schools and see kids excited.” Kids are learning from Terry’s example of perseverance and determination and the selflessness of what he set out to do.

“You can do anything you set your mind to. He did his very best.”

The goal this year is to raise $35 million nationwide, which works out to a dollar from every Canadian, the same goal Terry had when he began his Marathon of Hope.

• People can register online or just show up on run day at 8:30 a.m. to register for the run, which starts at 10 a.m. Walkers, cyclists, strollers and dogs on leash can all join in the event at one-kilometre, five-km or 10-km distances.

• Participants and residents who live along Hammond Road are being asked not to park on the road during the morning so runners have as much room as possible.