Sunday’s Barrie Terry Fox Run is virtual

Organizers encourage participants to take lots of pictures, get dressed up, and be silly, and have fun

Michael McDougall says he woke up today.

A big deal for a man who has lost his entire family to cancer, and has had two bouts of the disease himself in the last five years.

The Chair of the Barrie Terry Fox Run has energy in his voice as he talks about the 40th Anniversary of the Marathon of Hope, which is Sunday September 20, and is virtual because of COVID-19.

“Last year was a banner year,” says McDougall. “We raised about $250,00 in Barrie alone.”

McDougall does not expect to exceed what the run did last year.

“Does it seem reasonable to even to come close? You know, this is a year we have never had before. I don’t have an answer for that.”

Participants will mark Terry’s Marathon of Hope in their own way by walking, jogging or whatever method they choose in their own areas.

Run day will feature a Facebook live launch at 9 a.m. by the Hope Tree at the Tiffin Street boat launch. A drone pilot has volunteered his time to do a couple of drone shots at the Hope Tree and some drone shots of the run that participants would normally be using along Lakeshore Drive.

On this 40th anniversary, McDougall wants people to reflect on what Terry Fox did for cancer. He believes Fox got people talking about cancer and took it out of the closet. Before then, McDougall said people would just whisper that they got the Big C.

“There are cancer survivors walking around after 20 years and that was not a thing when I was young.” said McDougall.

While cancer has not been cured, McDougall points out money raised for research by the Terry Fox Run has made a difference.

“Cancer is a pretty scary thing. When I got my diagnosis, did I expect to be talking to you? No, I did not. Radiation technology has come along so far in the last five years. My treatments were knocked down from 17 to three.”

McDougall wants participants to send their pictures to @barrieTFR.