As are many events nowadays, the Terry Fox Run in Lethbridge was held virtually this past Sunday to accommodate public health guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Co-chairs Lorien Johansen and Bobbie Fox say when they found out the format of this year’s fundraiser for the Terry Fox Foundation — where participants would register online to run alone — they weren’t sure how successful it would be.
“We thought, you know, maybe we’ll get a few thousand dollars,” said Johansen. “But people’s online participation has been so much better than we both expected.”
As of Sunday afternoon, Lethbridge had raised just shy of $8,700 through the foundation’s website. Although runs would usually involve around 200 people coming together and donating in person, the online platform proved useful.
“We’re going to probably rethink our strategy for next year, and see if we can’t keep this trend going,” she said.
Kevin McBeath, a social studies teacher at Winston Churchill High School, says he “hates” running, but decided to go big or go home for this year’s Terry Fox Run.
After training for months, and with the help of friends Andrea Lammers-Pottage and Aaron Becking, McBeath embarked on the 26.2 mile trek around Lethbridge’s west side, allowing him to cross an item off his bucket list: running a marathon.
“I’m not getting any younger and so I thought I should probably run one before it’s maybe too late,” McBeath said.
McBeath completed the run faster than anticipated, and says he was able to raise about $1,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation by midday.
The recognition he’s received from the community and the local members of the foundation for his efforts is something McBeath says he’s grateful for.
“It’s really actually quite humbling to see that even after 40 years there’s such deep dedication through the whole Terry Fox Foundation that they would even care about one person doing one thing,” he said.
“I’m just some guy in Lethbridge running.”
Bobbie Fox, a member of Terry’s family and historian at the Galt Museum, says she’s putting together an exhibit relating to Terry’s impact in Lethbridge throughout the years. During her digging, she says it’s clear how much Terry meant to the community, running through rain and snow to honour his legacy.
“It is absolutely heartwarming, as a Fox family member, and just as a historian, just to see what a place Terry has in everyone’s hearts,” said Fox.
Fox hopes to have the exhibit ready sometime in early October.
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