The Lou Marsh Legacy - Honouring Canada's Top Athletes

Terry Fox

Marathon of Hope

1980


Terry Fox running on a local road during the Marathon of Hope

Terry Fox running on a local road during the Marathon of Hope

Date
1980
Collection
Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

A Marathon of Marathons

It would be very difficult to overstate Terry Fox’s accomplishments.

Running a marathon is a serious undertaking. Ask any runner who has completed the 26 mile distance, competitively or recreationally, what it takes. It is physically demanding to the point that elite world-class marathoners typically do not run more than a few each year with long recovery periods between events.

Now, let’s put ourselves in Terry’s shoes. Imagine doing it on one artificial leg! You are a new amputee so the training is both difficult and awkward. You train for 15 months, running 3,159 miles, running until your stump is raw and bleeding, running every day for 101 days, until you can run 23 miles a day. Concurrently, you work equally hard obtaining sponsors and creating awareness for your cause. You begin running, the Marathon of Hope on April 14, 1980 which equates to one marathon just about every day for 143 consecutive days covering 3,339 miles. Your effort captures the imagination of not just a nation but the world. Your routine is now interrupted by throngs of well-wishers, media interviews and civic appearances which help your cause but prohibits adequate rest for physical recovery. The physical toll and diagnosis of lung cancer ends the Marathon of Hope in Thunder Bay, Ontario on September 1, 1980.

Terry Fox is a great Canadian hero. His name is one of the most recognizable in our land and it symbolizes the power of dreams, hope and unshakeable spirit. His profound legacy lives on as evidenced by the annual Terry Fox Run, the world’s largest single-day cancer research fundraiser.

Terry Fox winner of Marsh trophy Adobe PDF Transcript


Highlights

1980
Marathon of Hope – Fox runs 3,339 miles in 143 days and raises $23.5 million for cancer research.
1980
Lou Marsh Memorial Award
1980
Named to the Order of Canada
1981
Inaugural Terry Fox Run attracts 300,000 people and raises $3.5 million
Annually
Terry Fox Run held across Canada and around the world raising hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research