Race organizer Marilyn Hodgson greets Aaron Holmgren as he finishes the Terry Fox Run in Central Saanich (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Central Saanich Terry Fox Run feeds off enthusiasm of race organizer

Marilyn Hogdson organized her fifth Terry Fox run Sunday

Rain could not dampen the spirit of several hundred runners and walkers participating in the Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research in Central Saanich, and perhaps none was more enthusiastic than the race organizer, Marilyn Hodgson herself.

“One of the great things of this run is the enthusiastic race director,” said Gary Duncan, after he had finished the 10-kilometre loop.

Like so many before him, Duncan received a personal greeting from Hodgson, as he crossed the finish line. Others posed with her while holding a banner that reads Terry Fox Lives Here, while others gave her long embraces in thanking her. During the race itself, she cheered on runners, and waved her banners, drawing honks of support from passing motorists and municipal firefighters.

RELATED: Central Saanich Terry Fox Run aims at being the best one yet

Addressing the crowd before the start of the race, Hodgson said Fox’s perseverance and a personal history has inspired to get involved.

“I lost my mother, and my two sisters to cancer,” she said. “So it’s huge to me to be a part of the Terry Fox run.”

But Hodgson, a school teacher, was quick to note that Sunday’s run would not happened without an army of volunteers and participants themselves.

The run itself commemorates Terry Fox, whose Marathon of Hope sought to raise money for research against cancer.

Fox, who lost parts of his right leg to a malignant tumour in 1977 as a teenager, started his Marathon on Hope on April 12, 1980 in St John’s, N.L., but stopped 143 days and 5,373 kilometres later outside of Thunder Bay, Ont., after discovering that his cancer had spread to his lungs.

The 61-year-old Duncan remembers those days well. In fact, Duncan saw Fox on the road running not long before he had to stop.

“Oh, that was him,” said Duncan in recalling the encounter, while he was a grad student in Ontario.

While the encounter might have been fleeting, Duncan has since become a committed participant in the cause, even running with Fox’s best friend Doug Alward, who drove the van during Fox’s historic Marathon of Hope across.  Duncan himself has done the Central Saanich run 15 times and has come to appreciate its atmosphere and emphasis on all ages and abilities. “This caters to everybody,” he said.

Fox himself died on June 28, 1981 one month short of his twenty-third birthday, but not after his campaign had raised $24.17 million. The first Terry Run Fox took place on Sept. 13, 1981. Over the years, the Terry Fox Foundation has raised $750 million.

Hodgson referenced Fox in her remarks to the crowd.

“‘I’m going to do my very best,’” she said, quoting Fox. “‘I will fight. I promise I won’t give up.’ He neither did, and neither have you.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney to remember ‘dog whisperer’ Terry Westcott

Terry Westcott has been meeting and greeting dogs in Beacon Park for years

Resident mistakes screaming teens’ late-night plunge for an emergency

Big week for Oak Bay Police who respond to rampant theft in Oak Bay, host Polar Plunge

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5 million for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

2020 Budget: ICBC ‘dumpster fire’ to turn into $86M surplus, NDP say

ICBC operating with $91-million deficit for 2019-2020 fiscal year

Victims tell of abuse at hands of Victoria substitute teacher

Harry Charles Sadd pleaded guilty to eight charges that took place between 1970 to 1982

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Budget 2020: B.C. adds tax to sweet drinks and sodas

All soda, vending machine drinks will be subject to higher PST

Most Read