Maple Ridge Terry Fox Run set for Sunday

Terry Fox Run organizer Betty Levens has her fingers crossed for some sunshine this weekend.

Terry Fox Run organizer Betty Levens has her fingers crossed for some sunshine this weekend, so participants in the 32nd annual cancer research fundraiser won’t get drenched like in years past.

“The last two years have been pretty wet, so that would be a nice change,” she said. “But the diehards will be there no matter what.”

With sunshine in the forecast all this week and right through the weekend, Levens will likely get her wish.

The race is set to start at 10 a.m. this Sunday, Sept. 16, from in front of the Hammond Community Centre.

More than $600 million has been raised through the Marathon of Hope and the annual Terry Fox Run since Fox began his fundraising efforts in 1980.

The foundation directs 84 cents of every dollar raised towards research, and funded 1,180 cancer projects to date. Last year alone, the foundation spent $27.5 million on cancer research programs.

“There a just three people employed [by the Terry Fox Foundation] in all of B.C., the rest of us are volunteers,” said Levens, who is in her 12th year of volunteering to organize the local race. “I wish people would realize where their money was going when they give to other [cancer foundations].”

Levens is expecting anywhere from 400 to 600 people to show up this Sunday for the run. Attendance has been dropping at the local event, but only because the national school Terry Fox Run Day, which takes place Thursday, Sept. 27, has become so popular.

“We think that’s just great,” said Levens. “That’s the new generation, so we want to encourage them to keep it going.”

Last year, the local event raised close to $17,000 on race day, down from close to $20,000 the year before. That’s because many people choose to donate online at terryfox.org, Levens said.

“All the money is going to the same place,” she said.

• Terry Fox Run, Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Hammond Community Centre soccer field at 20601 Westfield Avenue, Maple Ridge. Registration takes place at 8:30 a.m., with the run starting at 10 a.m. 10 km, 5 km, 1 km.

Open to runners, walkers, bikes, wheelchairs/strollers and rollerblades and dogs on leash are welcome.

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