This year is the 41st Marathon of Hope, and the 30th anniversary of the first Terry Fox Run to be held in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
There were a couple of years after the first that there was no run. In 2006, Joan King arrived at Simcoe Park the Sunday morning of the run, prepared to do her five kilometres. But the park was deserted, and she decided that would not happen again.
Every year since 2007, she has organized the local run. Last year, NOTL topped more than $1 million raised from this small community’s annual runs and events.
As last September, this year will look a little different, as the event across Canada is again One Day, Your Way. Instead of an organized run, participants are being asked to keep the Marathon of Hope alive by running, walking or biking on their own, with family and friends, around their neighbourhood, or anywhere they choose.
King will be at Simcoe Park again this Sunday, Sept. 19, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., although there will be no crowds of people, and no official run. Some locals will show up to run or walk the traditional route, as occurred last year, and she will be in the bandshell, with the photos she has collected over the years. She says there may be newcomers to town who haven’t participated in an official run, and will come to the park to investigate the route they have taken in the past.
The big banner of Terry Fox will be there for anyone who wants a photo, and King will be selling this year’s T-shirts. She will also display a quilt that usually hangs on a wall in her Queenston home, made of Terry Fox Run T-shirts she has collected over the years. It was made by her talented friend Leigh Bishop, who has produced a beautiful keepsake that will always remind King of why Fox, and the run, is so important to her, she says.
This year, King is again asking participants to go to the NOTL Terry Fox Facebook page to share a little video clip or some photos of their runs, since she won’t have photos of an official event.
Niagara-on-the-Lake resident Donna Seymour was at the town hall Monday, raising a flag, and awareness, for this Sunday’s Terry Fox Run.
Seymour is a cancer survivor, but when she participates in the Terry Fox Run, it’s in memory of her friend, June Huyck, who was not so fortunate.
Before her friend died of ovarian cancer in 1996 at the age of 49, Seymour made a promise to continue the legacy of Terry Fox runs Huyck had begun in 1992.
Seymour has continued to do so, although last year, and again this year, it will be done a little differently.
This Sunday, she and a group of about 12 people will walk around her Virgil neighbourhood, safely, following COVID protocols. “Everyone really enjoys it,” she says. “It’s almost more fun doing it this way. It’s easier to talk while we walk, and we’ll go back to my place for some pizza and ice cream.”
Seymour says she and her group raised more than $13,000 last year, and “we’re on track to do the same this year.”
New at Simcoe Park this year will be Tiina Kupper of FasciaPhysio Niagara. A fascia stretch therapy (FST) practitioner with a clinic at the fitness club at White Oaks Resort, she will be offering, free, her table-based services, which she describes as a gentle, manual therapy and assisted stretching technique that focuses on the releasing of fascia (the connective tissue found all through the body).
People who think they are feeling tightness and muscle pain, she says, are more likely suffering from fascia tightness. The pain can be in the shoulder, hip, neck, carpel tunnel — “anywhere, you name it, FST can relieve pain anywhere,” she says. For those who are in pain because they’ve walked or run for Terry Fox, or are suffering from tightness and pain for any reason, she will be in the park to help them.
King will also be in the park to accept pledge sheets and donations.
To register to fundraise for the Terry Fox Run, visit terryfox.org.
To post photos and comments on Facebook, go to NOTL Terry Fox Run.