Conditions haven’t been ideal for big fundraisers, but Prince Albert’s first responders found a way to make this one happen.
Representatives from Parkland Ambulance and Prince Albert’s police and fire departments have had their hands full since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. On Saturday, however, they found a way to safely raise $1,500 for the Prince Albert Terry Fox Run at the annual 4 x 100 meter relay.
“Growing up, we would always read about Terry Fox in school,” Prince Albert Police Service spokesman Josh Peterson said. “Obviously, what he did—as anybody that’s ever run a marathon (knows)—the fact that he ran one every day is incredible.
“One fortunate thing about being a first responder is we get to participate in events like this and have a bit of a friendly rivalry with our friends from the Fire Department and Parkland Ambulance.”
The police department relay team of Brett Friesen, Hilary Hood, Ron Meyers and Ben Guillemin edged out Parkland Ambulance at the finish line to win the 2020 Terry Fox Relay. The win denied Parkland a second straight relay victory.
Peterson said it was a relief to have bragging rights for another year.
“We’ve one it a couple of times in the last few years, but Parkland has always been a thorn in our side,” he said. “We have a pretty friendly rivalry with them, and I’ve been getting a few photos sent to me from Jordan Ambrose, who assembles their team. I really wanted to make sure I didn’t have to see any more after today, so I was pretty happy with how hard our team ran.”
“We lost to Parkland last year, but the fire department hired their fastest runner,” he added with a chuckle. “We were a little worried about that, but he wasn’t able to make it today, so that’s pretty good.”
Terry Fox Relay committee member Vicki Green said there were some challenges to hosting the event. Given the conditions, she was glad runners from all three organizations came out to compete.
“We were worried. People are always cautious about getting together, but we were super enthusiastic and excited that people were able to attend and the runners were able to participate,” she said.
“I think it just speaks to their dedication…. I think it’s fantastic that they choose to continue to support Terry Fox, and it’s fantastic that they could make it.”
This year marks the Terry Fox Run’s 40th anniversary. Although it’s not how they planned on remembering the milestone, Green said they’re happy the event will still happen.
Runners are encouraged to sign up for a virtual run, where participants will jog or walk a route of their choosing between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sept. 20. Registration, donations and pledges will all be done online this year, but Green and other committee members plan to set up a table at the Alfred Jenkins from noon until 2 p.m. for anyone who wants to donate in person.
“A lot of us have Terry Fox ribbons and shirts and hats that we’ve collected throughout the years, and badges and stuff. I hope to see those who are out participating on the track and everywhere else in the city wearing them, and making everybody aware that it’s still going on.”