Jack Brezina: Running for a cause
|By Jack Brezina - Contributing Writer | September 7 2017|
As the Minden Terry Fox run organizers gear up for the 24th annual event Sept. 17, there are a lot of runners, walkers and cyclists also getting themselves ready. Many people make the Minden run an annual event whether they are serious year round runners or once a year road warriors.
One of the participants in this year’s Minden run will be marking his sixteenth year as a Terry Fox participant. Gary Clieff has run all but two of those in Minden. He has also participated in 40 Highlands Yard runs, joining a small group of 36 in 1977 for the first time. Gary reports he came in 34th. (I should note at this point that this column has a Minden slant, but there is a Terry Fox Run in Haliburton on the same date, 11 a.m. registration, 12 noon start at the town dock.
In fact, people across the country will be honouring the memory of Terry Fox by participating in runs across the nation and around the world.) When Gary steps up to the start line next weekend, he will be 76 years of age, likely one of the oldest to take part in the event. Gary is a recreational runner, a member of the Sarnia Road Runner club that stages a monthly run/walk of various lengths each month in the Sarnia area. He also plays badminton, hockey and golf. Gary has been active most of his life, playing hockey (Junior C) and recreational football. He gets a little help from a leg brace on the longer events and admits he will be power-walking the Terry Fox run this season to be a little kinder to the well-worn knee joints.
His participation is sponsored by the Minden Legion. He gathers many of his pledges from friends and acquaintances at Branch 636 and usually registers with close to a $300 donation for the Terry Fox Foundation for cancer research.
He is not running in memory of anyone in particular, although he notes his run certificate includes the names of at least 10 people who have died of cancer.
You don’t have to run or walk or cycle to be a participant. There are many ways to support the Terry Fox Run in your community. First and foremost, is to encourage, and donate, to someone who is collecting pledges for their participation. Donations can be submitted online by searching for your community under the address terryfox.ca, or by giving directly to a participant. With the support of thousands across the country, the dream of Terry Fox continues in its support of cancer research.
Registration for the Minden Terry Fox Run is at 9 a.m. at the Minden Community Centre/Curling Club parking lot, with the official start at 9:30 a.m. There are 10, 5, 2 and 1 km routes. In addition to runners, the route is open to cyclists, roller blades and wheel chairs. Dogs are welcome on leashes.
Jack Brezina is a contributing writer for The Highlander.