Tri-province Terry Fox Run planned
On September 19, the day of the Terry Fox Confederation Bridge run, participants will attempt a 50-kilometre run across all three of the Maritime Provinces.
Ultra-marathoner John Van Ekris of Charlottetown has organized the event.
"New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have a 10 k run that they call the Cross Border Challenge...My wife and I were going camping where they have the run and we realized that we could do a run that encompasses all three provinces," said Van Ekris.
Van Ekris said the run is not a race; it is about honouring the efforts of Terry Fox.
"Doing this during the Terry Fox run allows us to really draw on the memory of Terry and what he accomplished," he said. "Our run might seem like a lot to people but when you think that our distance before we even reach the bridge is what Terry was doing day after day, it puts it into perspective.
Ken Taylor of Kensington is one of the runners taking on the 50-km challenge. He, too, sees it as an opportunity to honour Fox.
"John came up with the idea to honour Terry Fox who basically ran a marathon distance every day on one good leg," said Taylor. "If we able-bodied runners can do a special run on his day to honour him then so be it."
Nancy Morris of Charlottetown has never run further than the standard 42-km marathon. She has decided to face the challenge as a personal dedication to Fox.
"He's just such an inspiring person," Morris said. "I was 13 when he did his Marathon for Hope and I've just kind of followed it ever since."
Morris said she is slightly nervous about the distance but that she will use Fox as inspiration.
"It will be the farthest I've ever ran but we're runners so we always look to find new challenges," she said. "I feel confident that I can do it."
Van Ekris said he is thrilled people are interested in the exclusive experience.
"It's the only time you can run across three provinces in 50 kilometres," he said.
The run will leave from Tidnish in Nova Scotia at 5 a.m., runners will travel through New Brunswick and finish by crossing the Confederation Bridge.
Van Ekris said most runners should make it to the N.B. side of the bridge between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m.
The group will host a tailgate party following the run, around 11 a.m., in the parking lot on the P.E.I. side of the Confederation Bridge. Everyone is welcome to stop by to celebrate and show support.
The team has set a fundraising goal of $1000. Visit terryfox.org and search Maritime 50K Fox Run to make a donation.