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More than 700 annual Terry Fox runs move online over COVID-19 concerns

Last Updated Apr 30, 2020 at 3:31 pm PDT

The 2015 Terry Fox run in North Delta. (Tim James, NEWS 1130 photo)

If you want to do the Terry Fox Run this year, you won't be doing it with a crowd

The annual run is moving to a virtual format this year

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of Terry's Marathon of Hope

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — If you want to participate in the Terry Fox run this year, you won’t be doing it in a crowd.

Coast to coast, the annual event is being called off due to COVID-19 concerns, but there are plans to move the run and fundraising to a virtual format.

Most Terry Fox Runs were set to take place in September, including in his hometown of Port Coquitlam.

Fred Fox — Terry’s older brother — says you can still fundraise then do the run on your own while still physical distancing.

“We’re still working on a few details, the decision has just been made, so, you know, how that’s going to work and how we’re going to get that out to run organizers and participants,” he says.

But Fred also says they’re not going to cancel the event entirely because that’s not the spirit of Terry.

“One of the things Terry would often say during his run and in his journal when he would write he would say, ‘Anything is possible if you try,’ and this is just something we’re going to just have to do differently and try.”

Fred does admit fundraising might be a little challenging this year.

“We’re still hoping,” he says, adding there’s still a need for cancer research. “We fund the best researcher in the world here in Canada, and we’re still hoping to be able to do that.”

Upwards of 700 Terry Fox runs happen across Canada.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of Terry’s Marathon of Hope.

As a 21-year-old man he started his cross-country run to raise money and awareness for cancer – the illness that would eventually cut his journey short and end his life.

Terry made it nearly 5,400 kilometres and several provinces before the cancer in his body spread to his lungs forcing him to stop.

He passed away on Jun. 28, 1981 in New Westminster.

-With files from Sonia Aslam