By Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative
When it comes to emulating Canada’s hero, Tim Brewer is putting his best foot forward.
Since April 12, the Dresden resident has been hitting the pavement every day — running and walking — just like Terry Fox did 40 years ago.
He’s had no days off and by the time he’s finished Sept. 20, the retiree will have clocked 1,400 kilometres or 864 miles in 162 days.
Brewer, whose wife Cindy Brewer coordinates Dresden’s annual Terry Fox Run, says he “can’t imagine” the difficulties Fox faced during his incredible Marathon of Hope.
“He had a lot more physical impairments than I’ve got,” Brewer says. “When you watch him run, you can see how jarring it was.”
While Fox ran 26 miles every day, Brewer does a loop around Dresden averaging 5-7 miles a day.
He’s only been rained on three times, but adds it’s been extremely hot.
Brewer reads entries from Terry’s journal that are posted online and is surprised at the similarities.
He has to wrap his hamstring before heading out, but says that’s minor compared to what Fox endured. The marathoner who had one leg amputated to cancer dipped his prosthetic leg into the Atlantic Ocean April 12, 1980 intending to run across the country to raise money for cancer research.
Although cancer forced him to quit near Thunder Bay, after 143 days, Fox legacy has spread worldwide and runs are now held in more than 60 countries raising $750 million for the cause.
Fox died from the disease in June 1981.
2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Dresden Terry Fox Run, but because of COVID-19, this year’s run is virtual.
The theme is: ‘One Day, Your Way.’ People are invited to sign up individually, or in teams, on the Terry Fox Foundation website.
They can run, walk or cycle for the cause.
According to Cindy Brewer, people who were involved in the past have received packages in the mail, including self-addressed stamped envelopes, and can use paper pledge sheets if they want.
The Dresden run has been extremely successful in the past, raising more than $640,000 for cancer research.
It was the top fundraising per capita event in Ontario from 2015 to 2017, and has been second after Alvinston for the past two years.
Brewer doesn’t know if the run will break any records this year, but she wants to encourage as many people as possible to get out and honour the Terry Fox legacy.
The group’s social media pages have many challenges, including one from former Dresden resident and run volunteer Brianna Falkoner is issuing a challenge to others from Australia.