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Port Coquitlam’s Terry Fox Hometown Run continues childhood connection for organizer

Ahead of the 43rd event in Port Coquitlam, Dave Teixeira recalls watching the progress of Terry Fox's run across Canada when he was growing up in Ontario.

When Dave Teixeira made the decision to head west from Ontario in 2003, he knew where he wanted to end up.

As a kid watching the nightly news with his family in Mississauga in 1981, he was struck by the selflessness and determination of the young man with tousled hair bobbing up and down on the TV in his quest to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research.

"Nothing was going to stop him," Teixeira said. "He's so iconic yet so relatable."

Inspired, Teixeira started his own British Columbia adventure in Terry Fox's hometown, Port Coquitlam, and immediately started helping out with the organization of the city's run that’s held in his honour every September.

And while he no longer lives in the city, he's still putting in about 100 volunteer hours a year putting together the Terry Fox Hometown Run.

This year's event that begins at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17 at the Hyde Creek Recreation Centre (1379 Laurier Ave.), is the 43rd. And with sunny, warm weather in the forecast, Teixeira is confident of a big turnout.

But that's not the case everywhere.

While Terry Fox Runs are held around the world, some communities have struggled to muster volunteers to put events together. Port Moody, for instance, does not have a run scheduled this year.

Teixeira said the work that goes into organizing a run pales in comparison to the benefits they've realized.

Since its inception, the Terry Fox Run has raised more than $750 million.

The research that money has helped fund has rendered cancers like osteogenic sarcoma that cost Fox his right leg and ultimately led to his death shortly after he had to end his run outside Thunder Bay, Ont. more treatable.

Teixeira said the involvement of celebrities like B.C. actor Ryan Reynolds, who designed this year's official Terry Fox Run t-shirt, has helped boost the event's cachet.

@tricitynews Heroes supporting heroes. 🤝 #tricitynews #portcoquitlam #terryfox #terryfoxrun #ryanreynolds #greenscreen ♬ original sound - TriCityNews

But, he added, the key to long-term success is energizing young people to take up the mantle.

"There's so many lessons to be learned from Terry. You learn about caring and giving back."

📣 SOUND OFF: Do you participate in the Terry Fox Run? How has Terry Fox inspired you? Share your favourite Terry Fox memory by sending us a Letter to the Editor. Be sure to include your full name and city of residence.

What you need to know about the Terry Fox Hometown Run

Registration for this year's Terry Fox Hometown Run begins at 8 a.m. or you can register online in advance.

There are three routes: 2 km, 6 km and 8 km. Each begins and ends at the Hyde Creek Recreation Centre.

Road closures

From 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m

  • 1300-block of Laurier Avenue, from the Hyde Creek Recreation Centre to Coast Meridian Road

From 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

  • Coast Meridian Road (northbound and southbound) from Laurier Avenue to Kingsway Avenue, including the Coast Meridian overpass
  • Coast Meridian Connector north of Tim Horton’s
  • Kingsway Avenue from Wilson to Broadway avenues
  • Kelly Avenue from Mary Hill Road to Kingsway

Parking restrictions

  • both sides of Kingsway Avenue, from Wilson to Broadway avenues
  • both sides of Laurier Avenue from the Hyde Creek Recreation Centre to Coast Meridian Road

Coquitlam’s Terry Fox Run

Coquitlam's run takes place on Sunday, Sept. 17 at Mundy Park's Hillcrest Street entrance. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the 5 km run goes from 10 a.m. to noon.

You can also register in advance online.

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