The Terry Fox Run will reach year 39 with this year’s events.
The Port Hawkesbury run, which has gone every year since the inception of the event, will take place Sept. 15, starting at 1 p.m., from the Port Hawkesbury Community Park.
“I have that drive and determination to not let it go away,” Sarah Boudreau, who has been organizing the event for 11 years, said, in talking to the Casket Aug. 27.
Boudreau said it’s a rather “smooth process” now, since she has been involved for so many years.
“And I have good, dedicated volunteers who help out,” she said, noting she kind of “fell” into the role after hearing, on 101.5 the Hawk radio station, they needed a volunteer to organize.
“I was on maternity leave so I said ‘I have extra time and it’s a great cause,” she said, adding that, ironically, it was just the year before she, along her husband, participated in her first Terry Fox Run
“It was in Port Hawkesbury when my husband and I just showed up the day of,” she said. “We had just heard about it that Sunday morning, and there might have been five people there. So when I heard they were looking for someone that next year I said, ‘OK, let’s make it a little bit better and bigger.’”
The Port Hawkesbury event is for runners, walkers or cyclists and includes lengths of one, five and 10 km for the road route, or the Port Hawkesbury Community Trail from the park to Tamarac Education Centre and back.
“We do have the option of either running around the Tamarac loop, which is on the road, or hiking or running through the trails; the Port Hawkesbury Community Trails has been recently redesigned and revamped,” Boudreau said.
“The last two years we’ve hosted it at the park and provided that option to people, and it has been a huge success … a lot of people really enjoy that.”
Boudreau said a real sense of community is shared on the day; especially by those choosing to walk the trail and take the time to reflect on Fox’s legacy and chat with others doing the same.
“You’re in the forest and you can reflect on some of the challenges Terry would have gone through,” she said.
“And I say ‘community’ because it [the trail route] is a there-and-back, so you’re passing people or they’re passing you. I think a little bit more comradery happens in the trails, as opposed to running around a loop.”
People can either register by going online at terryfox.org, or they can do so the day of the event. There will be door prize draws with everyone who registers eligible to win.
As well, people can raise money or just donate what they can while registering – there is no minimum entry fee.
“It’s good to have that option because some people don’t like soliciting for donations,” Boudreau said of the support options, adding, “either-or, we accept everyone.”
And while she may have become involved more by chance than design, Boudreau said, each year, the Terry Fox Run becomes more meaningful to her as she, unfortunately, learns of another friend or acquaintance battling the dreaded disease.
“I’ve come to know quite a few people around my age who have had cancer and who have had to fight through that. So, every year, it gets a little more touching as far as the reason to do it,” she said, adding she had a grandmother who died from cancer.
“Every year, as the years go on, it makes my determination a little bit stronger to continue on.”
For more information, including as a participant or volunteer, call Boudreau at 902-302-7234 or visit the Facebook page Terry Fox Run – Port Hawkesbury.
The Antigonish Terry Fox Run will take place Sunday, Sept. 15, with Columbus Field as the base of the event.
Registration will take place between 10 and 11 a.m. with the run or walk commencing at 11 a.m.
The route, as it has been for the last number of years, will be from the Columbus Field to Antigonish Landing for a stretch, and then returning to the field. The route length is five kilometers.
For additional information on the local run, including pre-registration, or the Terry Fox Run in general, visit terryfox.ca.