Iconic Terry Fox Run to raise funds for the ICR

The UK Terry Fox Association, the UK affiliate of Canadian cancer research charity The Terry Fox Foundation which has raised over £500 million through its iconic fundraising runs, is pleased to announce that it will host the Terry Fox Run UK for The Institute of Cancer Research on October 2, 2021. A traditional event will be held in Battersea Park in the morning of October 2, while that day participants across the UK can join virtually by running in their communities.

Terry Fox Runs, held across the world, are free to enter, non-competitive and open to all abilities in the name of the iconic Canadian, Terry Fox. This year for the first time in 14 years, Londoners can walk, run or cycle around Battersea Park on a 2.5-10k route. No official results are recorded, and the site village will have live entertainment, refreshments and food in a family friendly environment. The goal is to raise money and awareness for cancer research.

The UK Terry Fox Association has partnered with The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), one of the world’s leading cancer research organisations, with an unparalleled record of academic excellence in cancer discoveries for more than 100 years. Partnering with the ICR means all the money raised for the UK charity stays in the UK for cancer research.

Terry Fox, a 22-year-old athlete who lost his leg to osteogenic sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, made headlines in 1980 when he ran 3,339 miles over 143 days across Canada to raise awareness and money for cancer research.

Known as the ‘Marathon of Hope’, Terry had planned to run across the country, but he had to stop sooner than anticipated on September 1, 1980 as sadly the cancer had spread to his lungs. During the Marathon of Hope, he averaged a marathon a day every day, with a unique running style as he used a prosthetic leg. He died less than a year later after raising $24 million CAD, achieving his goal of raising $1 for every Canadian.

He’s now considered a Canadian hero and every year since 1981 Terry Fox Runs are held across Canada and in over 30 countries in his honour. While he was born in Canada, Terry’s paternal grandmother, Bertha Fox (née Shale) was born in Sunderland, England, so having the run return to a country of Terry’s heritage is an honour.

In 2020, the UK joined millions of people participating in ‘virtual’ Terry Fox Runs in Canada and around the world. With almost 900 participants and over 300 individual and corporate donors in the UK, this was an incredible result for an event which had not been held in the UK for 13 years. It raised more than £75,000 (C$130,000) and had support from more than 60 communities in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Jersey who took part on 20 September 2020.

We would like to thank all those who supported the 2020 run named below.

Neil Johnson, Chair of the UK Terry Fox Association, said:

“Terry Fox once said, “Anything is possible if you try”. The virtual run last year allowed everyone across the country to be a part of this iconic event, and we are pleased to offer the same again in 2021 where Terry Foxers across the UK can show their support by wearing their official Terry Fox Run t-shirt and share their participation on social media.

“In addition, after a 14-year absence, we are incredibly excited to once again host the Terry Fox Run in the world-class city of London. Terry has been an inspiration to Canadians for over 40 years, and this event will help educate and inspire everyone in the UK about Terry Fox’s legacy and, in doing so, create positive change in the field of UK cancer research. We also want it to be a bit of fun for the whole family.”

Professor Chris Bakal, Professor of Cancer Morphodynamics at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, was born in Canada and is an ambassador for Terry Fox Association. Professor Bakal – a former world-ranked downhill ski racer and former track and field athlete competing at a national level – is taking part in the London event. He said:

“We’re thrilled that a Terry Fox run will be taking place in London, and that the funds raised will go directly towards supporting our lifesaving research at the ICR. Defeating cancer is a global effort and it is fantastic that the UK Terry Fox Association recognises the impact the ICR’s research is having for cancer patients worldwide.

“I’ve been inspired by Terry Fox since I was a kid and have tried to emulate grit and determination as both an athlete and a scientist. It will be an honour to attend the event in London in person and I can’t wait to join our dedicated fundraisers.”

HE Mr. Ralph Goodale, High Commissioner of Canada to the United Kingdom added:

“The High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom was pleased to see the tremendous success of the Terry Fox Run UK in September 2020. We are looking forward to its return for 2021 in London and all across the UK, as this event both celebrates a great Canadian and raises money for cancer research in the United Kingdom. We wish much success to the UK

Terry Fox Association in organizing the run and all the participants who continue Terry Fox’s legacy.”

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