Toronto Central YMCA holds annual Terry Fox Run 2016

Athletes in front of the Toronto YMCA building.

Participants at the Toronto Central YMCA Terry Fox Run 2016. (Jordan Barrera/Photo)


By Jordan Barrera, Centennial Journalism

The song “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors could be heard outside of Toronto’s Central YMCA as participants warmed up for the 36th annual Terry Fox Run. Runners set off at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning to show their support for the legacy of Terry Fox.

Fox is a household name across Canada, known as the man who attempted to run across the country with only one leg in an effort to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Although his individual run ended in 1980, Canadians gather every year to run in his honour.

Many of the participants were not personally affected by cancer.

“Let’s just sign up,” was the attitude of runner Buck Hussain. “We’re not running for anybody in particular but maybe for everybody who’s going through this devastating illness.”

Godana Kotto, who has been involved as an event organizer for 17 years at the YMCA, echoed this attitude.

“Whatever other people are going though, we have to share,” Kotto said. “I am lucky that I don’t have any family members who passed away from that or who are suffering from that…we are part of it, we get to move together.”

Although each location in the country sets a financial goal for the run, Kotto downplayed the importance of actually reaching it.

“There’s no goal… there’s no limit as long as we fight cancer,” he said.

The Central YMCA was able to raise $18,000 last year. The Terry Fox Foundation has raised over $700 million towards cancer research, according to its website.

Another runner at the event, Patrick Farrell, admitted that this year was his first Terry Fox Run after not participating for many years.

“Terry Fox is such a legend and such a hero,” Farrell said. “As the years pass the grandeur of what he achieved and who he is just continues to renew itself.

Patrick Farrell remembers attending Terry Fox runs as a child but admits that for the past several years he was not a participant. After finishing the Terry Fox Run at Toronto Central YMCA, Farrell told Centennial Journalism’s Jordan Barrera why he was motivated to participate this year.