This Sunday marks an annual tradition that holds a special place in many West Shore residents’ hearts.
For the West Shore Terry Fox Run event organizer, Courtney Olivo, the event is a way of furthering her father’s legacy. Olivo’s father, Dave Hill, started organizing the run in 1995 after seeing an article in the Gazette two weeks prior to the event stating it would be cancelled because there was no one to organize it. Hill took on the event and organized it right up until 2012, when his own battle with cancer was lost. That’s when Olivo stepped up to carry on the tradition.
“Dad thought ‘Hey, it could be fun for a year.’ Here we are 21 years later,” Olivo said. “Seeing how much pride and joy my Dad got out of it, I knew I had to keep it going.”
This will be the second year the event is taking place at Royal Roads University in Colwood. It was moved there last year to accommodate more participants and encourage more growth. And Olivo is hoping the event will continue to grow, even with a few showers forecasted for Sunday. “Terry ran through rain, snow, heat. If he can do it, why can’t we?”
Despite last year’s torrential downpours and relentless winds, Olivo said the event was a success at the new venue. “We still had a larger turn out and raised more money,” she noted.
While there were a couple of hiccups with the new venue, participants in last year’s event still seemed happy with the new location, Olivo noted. The one major hiccup participants encountered was a lack of signage directing them from the parking lot to registration. This year participants can gather in the lower end of the recreation centre’s parking lot. Parking in that area is earmarked for those with mobility issues. The rest of the run participants are encouraged to park in the lot just to the right of the main entrance.
Registration for Sunday’s event begins at 9 a.m. and the race gets underway at 10. “The barbecue will be on just after 10,” Olivo added.
No pre-registration is required and participants can just show up the day of with their donations. “There’s no minimum donation or entrance fee to participate so anyone and everyone is welcome … and it’s non-competitive too.”
With one kilometre and five kilometre routes, there’s also different terrain that gives participants the option to run, walk or roll.
“For those with bikes and strollers the 1K would be a better choice but they’re still welcome to do the 5K,” she said, adding “and it can be done twice to make a 10K.”
As for this year’s fundraising goal, Olivo would like to hit the $7,000 mark, a modest increase from the roughly $6,000 raised at last year’s event. She added that $0.84 of every $1 raised goes to cancer research. “That’s a huge number.”
For more information on the West Shore Terry Fox Run, or the other two events taking place in the region this weekend, go to TerryFox.org.