Media Centre

Marathon of Hope

Marathon of Hope

St John’s, NF - April 12:

0 mile, 0 km.

Terry Fox dips his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean and sets out on his Marathon of Hope.

Gander, NF - April 21:

215 miles, 346 km.

“It was an exciting day in Gambo. People came and lined up and gave me ten, twenty bucks just like that. And that’s when I knew that the Run had unlimited potential.”

South Brook Junction, NF - Day 15:

337 miles, 542 km.

“Today we got up at 4:00 am. As usual, it was tough. If I died, I would die happy because I was doing what I wanted to do. How many people could say that? I went out and did fifteen push-ups in the road and took off. I want to set an example that will never be forgotten.”

Port-Aux-Basques, NF - May 6:

548 miles, 882 km.

Port-Aux-Basques, population 10,000, raised $10,000, equal to one dollar per person. Several weeks after Terry left Newfoundland, he found out that this total increased by another $4,000.

Highway 7, NS:

767 miles, 1,234 km.

“Twenty-six miles is now my daily minimum. It is beautiful, quiet, peaceful country. I love it.”

Sheet Harbour, NS - May 15:

794 miles, 1,278 km.

After a reception where Terry ran with some school children, he wrote: “When I ran with the kids I really burned it just to show them how fast I could go. They were tired and puffing. All right!”

Dartmouth, NS - May 20:

916 miles, 1,474 km.

“I ran to the vocational school here with fifty students. I ran about a mile. They had raised about $3,000. What a great group of kids! Too bad not everybody was doing that.”

Charlottetown, PEI - May 26:

1,074 miles, 1,728 km.

“There were lots of people out to cheer me on and support me. Incredible! … I had another dizzy spell during the Run. Still freezing, but I wasn’t wearing sweats so people could see my leg. I’d run just over twenty-eight miles.”

Highway 2, west of Moncton, NB - May 29:

1,159 miles, 1,865 km.

“We learned that Saint John would have nothing organized for us. I try so hard and then get let down. I am going to run right down this city’s main street. Doug is going to follow behind and honk. We will be rebels, we will stir up noise. People will know Terry Fox ran out of his way to Saint John for a reason!”

Bristol, NB - June 6:

1,376 miles, 2,214 km.

“The first few miles were the usual torture. My foot was blistered bad, but my stump wasn’t too bad. Today I had tremendous support. Everybody honked and waved. People all over looked out of their homes and stores and cheered me on.”

Perth-Andover, NB - June 7:

1,402 miles, 2,256 km.

“… in the town there was tremendous support and it quickened my pace up for the remaining fourteen miles. I flew!”

Highway 185, QC - June 11:

1,508 miles, 2,426 km.

“The wind howled again all day. Right in my face. It was very difficult constantly running into the wind. It zaps it right out of your body and head."

Quebec City, QC - June 15:

1,655 miles, 2,663 km.

Terry is honoured by meeting Gérard Côté, four-time Boston Marathon winner and is featured on the front page of the French language daily Le Soleil.

Montreal, QC - June 23:

1,813 miles, 2,917 km.

Terry ran into Montreal with Montreal Alouette kicker Don Sweet and four wheelchair athletes.

Hawkesbury, ON - June 28:

1,883 miles, 3,030 km.

Terry was welcomed to Ontario by a crowd of 200 and thousands of balloons which read: WELCOME TERRY. YOU CAN DO IT.

Just outside of Ottawa, ON:

1,935 miles, 3,113 km.

“…everybody seems to have given up hope of trying. I haven’t. It isn’t easy and it isn’t supposed to be, but I’m accomplishing something. How many people give up a lot to do something good?"

Ottawa, ON - July 1:

1,941 miles, 3,123 km.

Terry kicked the opening ball of a CFL exhibition game between Ottawa and Saskatchewan. He received a standing ovation from a crowd of over 16,000 as he kicked the ball with his good leg.

Millwood, ON:

Terry collapsed in the van from exhaustion – his face brilliant, his breath laboured, his eyes closed as if blocking out the light and the pain with a wrinkled $100 bill, damp from perspiration, clasped tightly in his hands.

Pickering, ON - July 9:

2,168 miles, 3,488 km.

John and Edna Neale waited hours for Terry to pass by. When they finally saw him, they said, “He was just what was needed to give us a little pride in our own people, the same kind Americans have in abundance.”

Scarborough Civic Centre, ON - July 10:

2,180 miles, 3,508 km.

Terry told several thousand people that his fame was not meant to be of the Run, he wasn’t interested in wealth or notoriety, and that he was just a guy running across the country to collect money for cancer research. He also said that the Marathon had to continue even without him.

Toronto, ON - July 11:

2,190 miles, 3,523 km.

Terry meets his hockey idol Darryl Sittler who gave Terry his 1980 NHL all-star team sweater. Darryl said, “I’ve been around athletes a long time and I’ve never seen any with his courage and stamina.” One on-looker commented, “He makes you believe in the human race again.”

Hamilton, ON - July 14:

2,251 miles, 3,622 km.

Terry was mobbed by teenagers and women after he spoke at the Royal Botanical Gardens and raised $4,500. As well, 1960 Canadian Marathon Champion, Gord Dickson, gave Terry his gold medal, saying, “The young fellow was running the greatest race of all.”

Gravenhurst, ON - July 28:

2,581 miles, 4,153 km.

Terry celebrated his 22nd birthday along with 2,000 other people at the Gravenhurst Civic Centre. One of his gifts was a new artificial limb. The community of 8,000 people raised $14,000.

Sudbury, ON - August 4:

2,753 miles, 4,430 km.

Terry reaches his halfway point, although for the next 400 miles (644 km) the people living on the route call their own homes the halfway point. It is discovered that the odometer had a 4% error, and Terry had actually Run an additional 65 miles (105 km)!

Sault Ste Marie, ON - August 12:

2,906 miles; 4,675 km.

When a Sault Ste Marie radio station broadcast that a spring had snapped in Terry’s artificial limb, a welder jumped in his car to make a road call. In 90 minutes, the spring was repaired and Terry was on the road again.

Terrace Bay, ON - August 27:

3,208 miles, 5,153 km.

Terry meets up with 10-year-old Greg Scott of Welland, who had also lost his leg to bone cancer. “Greg rode his bike behind me for about six miles (10 km) and it has to be the most inspirational moment I have had! At night we had a beautiful reception in Terrace Bay. I spoke about Greg and couldn’t hold back the emotion.”

Thunder Bay, ON - September 1:

3,339 miles, 5,374 km.

“People were still lining the road saying to me, ‘Keep going, don’t give up, you can do it, you can make it, we’re all behind you.’ Well, you don’t hear that and have it go in one ear and out the other, for me anyways… There was a camera crew waiting at the threequarter mile point to film me. I don’t think they even realized that they filmed my last mile. People were still saying, ‘You can make it all the way, Terry’. I started to think about those comments in that mile, too. Yeah, I thought, this might be my last one.”

Thunder Bay, ON:

“That’s the thing about cancer. I’m not the only one, it happens all the time to people. I’m not special. This just intensifies what I did. It gives it more meaning. It’ll inspire more people. I just wish people would realize that anything’s possible if you try. When I started this Run, I said that if we all gave one dollar, we’d have $24 million for cancer research, and I don’t care, man, there’s no reason that isn’t possible. No reason.”