The Prince Albert Fire Department won the annual Terry Fox Relay for the first time since the race began when the annual fundraiser was held at Harry Jerome Track on Saturday.
The Prince Albert Police Service won last year in a photo finish with the Fire Department placing second. Tyler Wendell of the fire department said that made this year’s victory especially sweet.
“It feels good and it’s an awesome foundation to give back to,” Wendell said. “It feels really good.”
The Prince Albert Police Service were the three time defending champions before being dethroned by the fire department at the annual 4 x 100 meter relay. While Wendell and his team were happy to have bragging rights for the next year, they said the fundraising was the most important part.
“It is like Vern (Hodgins of the Terry Fox Run) has been saying, it is a friendly competition it is nice to see everybody out for such a great cause like this,” Wendel said. “But at the end of the day, it is raising money for a good cause. It’s for the Terry Fox Foundation and that’s what it is all about.”
The race kick-started the local campaign leading up to the Terry Fox Run on Sept. 18. The funds raised go towards the Terry Fox Foundation for Cancer Research.
Wendel said being out in the community was important to the relay team of Martin Taylor, Denver Johnson and Wade Fehr.
“Everybody kind of looks at the fire department as a public service and a group that is out in the community so of course it means everything to be able to give back to something that is close to home, Canadian,” Wendel said.
The winning team received a trophy donated by Malcolm Jenkins eight years ago which replaced the original trophy.
The Prince Albert Police Service finished second, while Parkland Ambulance came in third, and the Prince Albert RCMP finished fourth. This was the second time in 10 years the RCMP has sent a team.
Co-Coach of the Parkland Ambulance team and cancer survivor Kelly Straf said it was great to serve as an ambassador for the team as well.
“We support the Terry Fox Relay every year, put a team in every year and we have a great time doing it with our fellow emergency services and comrades,” Straf said. “We have a great camaraderie here with all of them and we got a beautiful day here for it today. It’s exciting to get everybody out here today and see the support for cancer survivors as well as those who are still battling.”
The official starter for the run was councillor Ted Zurakowski. Prior to the race, Vern Hodgins payed tribute to the work frontline responders did at James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon following a tragic mass stabbing on Sept. 4.
“Like Vern, said everybody starts a winner and everybody leaves a winner and we honour those who we are doing it for,” Straf said.
The Parkland Ambulance team was composed of coaches Straf and Jordan Ambrose and runners Brendin St. Amand, Steven Kirk, Justin Reid Pelletieri and Amanda LePage. Everyone enjoyed the competition.
“You can see everybody’s smiling faces here and everybody is proud of their team no matter where they finished,” Straf added. “Just to participate it is great for everybody.”
Each team donated $500, raising a combined $2,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation.
The Terry Fox Run for cancer research takes place on Sunday, Sept. 18. Participants can walk, jog, run or wheel and can also choose the distance you want to go, 2, 5 or 10 km. A route will be marked out starting at the Alfred Jenkins Field House with a group start at 1:00 pm. Register between 12:15 and 1 pm.