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Thousands raised for virtual Terry Fox Run in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Donations down as pandemic drags on
Terry Fox Run was held virtually on Sept. 19, 2021. (Terry Fox Foundation/Facebook)

The Terry Fox Run took place again this year – a virtual event on Sunday thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic– without any fanfare or fuss.

No committee was necessary to put up signs or organize a route.

This year, like the year before, participants were asked to do the run by themselves on Sept. 19, raising as much money as possible to aid cancer research across the country.

As of 10 a.m. on Sept. 19, participants had raised $8,264.24 online and contributed $410 towards online purchases.

Money will still be added to the total from school runs across the district.

Ali Wakeling, chair of the Terry Fox Run in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, said the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on organizations and charities trying to raise money for different causes. And the Terry Fox Run has been no different.

In 2018 – the rainiest Terry Fox Run on record, Wakeling said at the time – the run still managed to raise about $13,000. The year before more than $20,000 was raised for the Terry Fox Foundation.

Eric Muller, who has been the run coordinator for the local event for at least 12 years, took part in the Terry Fox Run with his half marathon group, who have incorporate the Terry Fox Run into their training both this year and last. They ran the same route traditionally used for the run – from Spirit Square in Pitt Meadows to Hammond Stadium in Maple Ridge and back again.

“I just like to keep that feeling of the Terry Fox Run at the forefront on that day particularly. It’s really important to me particularly, and not just as a runner, but as a human, a Canadian,” said Muller.

And, he said, most everybody has such a neat history with the run.

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But, noted Muller, when people are not participating in the run together, surrounded by other participants, it’s difficult to keep interest in the event going, and donations as generous as they were in past years.

However, he is hopeful with more in-person events taking place throughout the year, there will be less trepidation as time goes by and next year’s run will be back as normal.

Wakeling is looking for a volunteer to take the reigns for the local run for next year.

“We’ll show you what to do. We’ll train you well,” she said.

The run is so important, said Wakeling. It brings the community together. She, like Muller, is hoping that next year the run will be back to normal.

“It’s not like cancer’s gone anywhere.”

“Hopefully people will be just itching to get back,” she said.

Those who would like to volunteer can contact the provincial office of The Terry Fox Foundation at 604-464-2666.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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