This is one event that doesn’t spend a lot of time looking for volunteers.
George Maratos, Whitehorse organizer of the Terry Fox Run, says most of the crew from last year is returning because it was so much fun.
“We all get along; we all understand the reason for the event,” says Maratos. “[Cancer] touches everybody, maybe not directly, but everybody knows somebody touched by cancer.”
And since this event is always non-competitive and timing isn’t involved, it is not as complicated as other runs to organize.
“It’s a fun event,” says Maratos. “It’s a community event … you don’t even need to run.”
He says people walk, bike and even skateboard around the Millennium Trail.
Without having the task of finding volunteers, Maratos says he can concentrate on the one thing the Terry Fox Run needs more than anything: participants.
“We really want to increase the number of runners,” he says. “Last year, we had 200 runners.
“We need to keep the legacy alive.”
That legacy is Terry Fox’s efforts to raise money to help find a cure for cancer. His “Marathon of Hope” ended in Thunder Bay on Sept. 1 of 1980, after 143 days into his quest to run across Canada.
Cancer had taken his leg and it soon took his life. But, before it did, Terry Fox and his supporters launched the annual Terry Fox Run to be held across Canada on the second Sunday after Labour Day.
To get more participants, Maratos says the process has been simplified as much as possible. People can just show up at the S.S. Klondike anytime from noon to 1 p.m. to register. There is no minimum amount to donate.
Or people can sign a pledge sheet at the Canada Games Centre or at Whitehorse City Hall.
Instead of organizers purchasing not enough or too many T-shirts, Maratos is asking the public to buy them from www.terryfoxrun.org.
“The Millennium Trail is perfect,” says Maratos. “People usually walk it on a Sunday, anyway. This way they get to have a burger and listen to some entertainment.”
Sending them off this year will be Joy Karp, a well-known Whitehorse businessperson and cancer survivor. She told the story of her diagnosis and chemotherapy in last year’s How Ya Feeling Yukon. In the issue that will be mailed out, later this month, she finishes her story of the radiation treatments and her triumphant return to “normal”.
“It’s me who is honoured,” says Karp of the invitation to speak to the participants. “If it were not for people like that, I would be dead.”
George Maratos, the Whitehorse’s Terry Fox Run organizer, says all he
needs for this year’s event is lots of participants. His co-organizer,
Jennifer Moorlag, has volunteers, registrations and security
all wrapped up. Registration is noon to 1 p.m.
at the S.S. Klondike Sunday, Sept. 13.
PHOTO: RICK MASSIE [email protected]