Montreal legend inspired by Terry Fox completes 40th run on Sunday
MONTREAL -- Montreal running legend Eddy Nolan took part in his 40th Terry Fox run on Sunday.
“It goes back to 1980 when I was training for the Montreal marathon and I saw Terry Fox coming across the Jacques Cartier Bridge on CTV, and what he was doing and how I followed his story completely blew me away,” Nolan said.
From that moment on, he dedicated his life to continuing Terry Fox’s work.
Nine years ago, Nolan was diagnosed with stage four throat cancer – but after seven months of chemotherapy and radiation, he ran a marathon in the United States.
“I crossed the finish line, I went into the medical tent, the doctor asked me, he said ‘Are you insane?’” Nolan said. “I said ‘No sir, I'm Canadian, have you ever heard of Terry Fox?’ and I gave them the Terry Fox story.”
This time, Nolan is doing a 5K run. To avoid larger crowds amid the COVID-19 pandemic, runners were asked to get sponsors and do their own runs.
“We’re doing it old school like Terry,” said Peter Sheremeta from the Terry Fox Foundation. “Everyone is doing their own thing, them alone on the open road, in a park, on bike path.”
Terry Fox runs across Canada raise about $20 million per year for cancer research and the hope this year is that they’ll hit that amount despite the pandemic.
“We’re running for the people that can’t run, so it takes a lot,” said some friends doing their first marathon. “I mean, everyone has been affected by cancer. Everyone knows someone who's been affected by cancer so we're running for them too.”
Cancer survivor Les Hay is walking this year with his family.
“He was such an inspiration to everybody – not just to Canadians, not just to people who have cancer –his dream was to find a cure for this dreaded disease and we're just doing whatever we can to help,” he said.
Just as he has since 1981, Nolan crossed that finish line. He says his body is sore but his spirits are high.
“When I'm running for terry, it's like I'm running on a cloud, you know.”