The 33rd-annual Terry Fox Run takes place in four of the five communities within the Tri-Cities area this Sunday, and the Tri-Cities NOW spoke to organizers for each of those events in advance of the big day.
Hometown Run organizer Dave Teixeira has headed up the PoCo run for 11 years, and has been a part of the movement in some capacity in each of its 33 years.
"Terry is a hero to me, so it's an honour to be doing this," he said. "Here was someone who wasn't that much older than me inspiring a nation to do some pretty cool things. I latched onto his youth and his passion."
By far the largest run of the four locally, the Hometown Run kicks off with registration at 8 a.m., followed by the run at 10 a.m. Terry's father Rolly will speak to participants before they take off from the Hyde Creek Centre at 1379 Laurier Ave. and three distances will
be offered: 2.5 km, six km and 10 km.
The 2.5-km route will take participants in a loop from the centre along Coast Meridian Road, Lincoln Avenue, Dorset Avenue and back to the Hyde Creek Rec Centre.
The 6-km option covers sections of Prairie Avenue, Freemont Street, Riverwood Gate and back to Coast Meridian Road.
The 10-km trek is larger, combining those two routes.
The Coquitlam run gets underway with registration at 9:30 a.m. and the run kicking off at 10:15 a.m. from Blue Mountain Park.
The two-km run travels around Ridgeway and King Albert avenues, while the six-and 10-km runs follow a rectangular route encompassing Blue Mountain and Gatensbury streets, as well Como Lake and Ridgeway avenues.
"I've been telling people that this event is about coming out for one hour of the year and showing up to honour the memory and legacy of Terry Fox and what he means to our country," said Coquitlam run co-chair Mark Pettie.
The Port Moody run follows the Shoreline Trail, starting from Rocky Point Park, and is broken up into two-, five-and 10-km increments. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the run is one hour later.
"I'm sure everybody goes through it at some point - you're standing at a Terry Fox run and you think about your dad, your mom, your sister or your grandma, because cancer has touched us all," said run organizer and Port Moody Mayor Mike Clay. "For some people, it's an outlet. They're not really trying to do a run or raise money; they want to share with each other."
Anmore's Gord Bytelaar will head up his first run this weekend, though he's no stranger to the event. In fact, he captured the best time in the West Van run in the mid 1980s.
"Being a former runner myself and having run two marathons in my life, 20 years apart, I can't imagine running a marathon every day for as many days as he did until he had to stop," he said.
Bytelaar stepped up to the position of run organizer just three weeks ago, and he's keeping his goals fairly modest: 50 to 100 participants who can raise anywhere from $500 to $1,000.
The Anmore event will be offered in two distances - 2.5 and 4.5 km - and will follow a loop around Spirit Park. Registration begins at 11 a.m and the run goes at noon.
For more info on any of these events, log on to www.terryfox.org.
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