About a month after the Dubai Marathon, we attended the next race in Dubai – the Terry Fox Run Dubai. To be honest here – until the announcement of the run a few weeks before, we actually never heard of Terry Fox or any associated event. Well, unfortunately. It turned out that Terry Fox was one of the world’s greatest athletes and on top a cancer research activist.
First held in 1981, the Terry Fox Run is a non-competitive charity run which is now organized in 60 countries worldwide and considered to be the largest one-day fundraiser in the world and has raised since its inception over C$ 650 million for cancer research.
Terry Fox (1958-1981) was originally from Ottawa, Canada and already an athlete in his early teenage years. He was an avid basketball player and long distance runner. Due to osteosarcoma –a cancer in the bone- his right leg was amputated in 1977. But that didn’t stop him from running and even playing basketball; he continued simply with an artificial leg and started playing wheelchair basketball. He was even named an all-star by the North American Wheelchair Association.
He started the ‘Marathon of Hope’ in April 1980, a cross-country run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Terry Fox run every day the distance of a full marathon (!) through six Canadian provinces. By September 1980 or precisely, after 143 days and 5373 kilometres, he was forced to stop as the cancer has spread to his lungs. By that time Terry was already considered a national hero. He died on 28th June 1981 after treatment with chemotherapy.
The Terry Fox Run Dubai was great although short (4km) but we met a lot of cool people there. Remember, the Terry Fox Run is about attending and spreading awareness for cancer research, not about competing with eachother.
The Terry Fox Run Dubai is organized by a volunteer commitee under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum who is also the Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation, Emirates Group & Dubai World.
Check the website www.terryfoxrun.org for more information and upcoming runs and try to attend a run if it’s near to you!
Kian & Sri
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