Maj. Gene Conrad
Royal Canadian Air Force
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — On Sept. 13, 28 runners trekked 5 km. through a soggy running route here. A Canadian tradition since 1981, the Terry Fox Run can usually be found anywhere in the world where Canadian military is stationed.
Fox was a Canadian who had his right leg amputated after discovering a malignant tumor in 1977. Two years later, he decided to run across Canada in a “Marathon of Hope” to raise money for cancer research and awareness. On April 12, 1980, Fox began his run from St. John’s, Newfoundland. He ran 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles) through six provinces before being forced to stop after his cancer had spread.
Fox passed away in June 1981, and later in September, the first Terry Fox Run was held at locations across Canada and raised $3.5 million. Since its inception, the Terry Fox Run has raised about $500 million for cancer research.
In the spring of 2011, Canadian personnel here were surprised to discover there was no Terry Fox Run, despite the presence of so many Canadian military. After contacting the Terry Fox Foundation a small group of volunteers were able to organize the first Colorado Springs Terry Fox Run in September 2012.
Even though the turnout was a modest 16 people, the group had sowed the seeds and this year participation grew to 28 runners who raised $400 for the Terry Fox Foundation, and plans are already begun for next year’s run to make the Terry Fox Run a tradition in Colorado Springs.
For information about the Terry Fox Run and the Terry Fox Foundation, visit http://www.terryfox.org