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Olds Terry Fox run goes online and in town

Run through town recently added due to popular demand
MVT Olds 2019 Terry Fox Run-1
Organizer Noel D'arcy leads participants in last year's Olds Terry Fox Run for cancer research in Olds on Sunday, Sept. 15. This year's event was originally only going to be held virtually but now there is a regular run scheduled as well. File photo/MVP Staff

OLDS — Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the local Terry Fox Run will feature a combination of a virtual run as well as a “normal” run this year, organizer Noel D’Arcy says.

The event takes place Sept. 20.

Participants can run, walk or cycle any time they like between 6 a.m. and midnight or so this Sunday, adhering to physical distancing rules as advocated by Health Canada.

Those participating virtually can run any route they choose.

But now, there’s another option.

They can instead decide run a five-kilometre (km) or 10-km route through town drawn up by D’Arcy. Both start from the Olds fire hall.

Like the virtual option, participants can run at any time of their choosing.

In the past, the run started at 10 a.m.

As in previous years, participants can drop off their pledge sheets at the fire hall.

In an interview, D’Arcy said the plan initially was to simply offer the run solely online.

However, he “received so many phone calls (about offering a route through town like before) that I worked out a course,” D’Arcy said.

This year is the 40th anniversary of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope.

In 1980, Fox, then aged 22, who was diagnosed with cancer, decided to run across Canada to raise money for research into the disease. However, he had to stop the run near Thunder Bay, Ont. after the cancer returned with a vengeance.

Fox died in June 1981. The first Terry Fox Run, carrying on his goal to raise awareness and money for cancer research, was held that fall.