Heavy rainfall didn’t slow down a large troop of joggers lapping Halifax Common yesterday.
Thee runners, more than 100 of them, were taking part in the annual Terry Fox Run to raise money for cancer research. In the 29 years since Fox began his cross-Canada journey, the event has grown to an epic scale.
This year, runs were held all across Canada, including about 80 events in Nova Scotia alone. Another 28 countries also now take part each September.
Many are brought out because of personal ties to the illness. It was the first run for co-organizer Brian Johnston, who got involved in cancer research fundraising after his brother’s wife died of from the disease.
“It was a huge emotional situation that my brother still deals with,” Johnston explained yesterday morning.
“For me, being focused on raising funds for a cure for cancer began two years ago with that loss of a family member.”
The event brought people out from every demographic, from grandparents to children too young to walk. In particular, Johnston was pleasantly surprised to see so many university students volunteer and take part in the run.
“That generation of course is not old enough to remember what Terry did. So it’s really, really wonderful to see that being handed down,” said co-organizer Barbara Fickes.
“They’re really keen on it and still want to continue it. It’s fabulous.”
The Terry Fox Run is fast approaching an important milestone -- events across the world over the past three decades have combined to raise nearly $500 million, a figure Fickes expects will be reached very soon, likely within the next year.
While the amount raised this year hadn’t been totalled as of yesterday afternoon, but Nova Scotia events raised more than $900,000 last year.