Military takes the fight to cancer 0
SEAN CHASE The annual 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Terry Fox Run and Sports day began with the Military Challenge Race where the fastest runners from each base unit were timed over a 10.2 kilometre route. Over 2,500 soldiers participated in the event, the first of the area’s runs in support of the Terry Fox Run.
CFB PETAWAWA - Petawawa’s close-knit military community came together Thursday to honour the memory of Terry Fox and raise money for cancer research.
Over 2,500 troops formed up around the Dundonald Hall sports field to kick off the annual 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Terry Fox Run and sports day.
The event is primarily designed to promote physical fitness and teamwork for the soldiers within the brigade, and also serves as a wrap-up for the summer sports season, crowning a unit champion for the brigade in a wide range of sports.
However, Col. Simon Hetherington, commander of 2 Brigade, told the parade to remember the Canadian athlete and humanitarian who set out from St. John’s, Newfoundland in April 1980, with the goal of raising one dollar for each of Canada’s 24 million people.
By the time he was forced to abandon his quest at Thunder Bay, Ontario, some 5,373 kilometres later, Mr. Fox had raised $1.7 million.
“It was inspirational,” explained Col. Hetherington. “You had this guy who no one had heard of running across Canada on one leg. So, of course, the legend grew.”
The commander recounted seeing Mr. Fox run through his hometown of Oakville, Ontario. He impressed upon the troops that the young 22-year-old ran 42 kilometres a day for a straight 143 days. While the Marathon of Hope continues to this day with the Terry Fox Run raising $500 million over the past 31 years, Col. Hetherington said the event is that much more special for those who actually witnessed Terry Fox’s attempt to cross Canada
“We remember more about Terry Fox than simply grainy images you would have learned in grade school about the greatest Canadian hero,” he said. “He was a role model for the entire country and someone of whom we are all very proud.”
While the brigade hosted this year’s run, participants came from across the base, including teams from 1 Canadian Field Hospital, 2 Area Support Group, the Canadian Special Operations Regiment and 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron.
Starting off this year’s event was the Military Challenge Race, which included personnel representing each unit running a 10.2 kilometre route around the base. Crossing the finish line as the top male was Cpl. Steve Shears, from 2CMBG Headquarters and Signals Squadron, with a time of 36:41. He was followed by second place Capt. Kevin Donak, of 2nd Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (2RCHA).
The top female runner was Capt. Jessica Ross, of 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment (1RCR) with a time of 49:15. She was followed by Sapper Myra Gregor, of 2 Combat Engineer Regiment (2CER), and Capt. Melissa Bott, of 2 Service Battalion. The top team with an average time of 41 minutes was 2RCHA, followed by the Royal Canadian Dragoons and 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment.
In the brigade’s season-long inter-unit competition, 2 Service Battalion won the golf tournament, while 2CER took the slow pitch title. Winning the soccer was 2RCHA, while 2CER captured the rugby title. In the sports day results, 2CER won the slow pitch tournament and frisbee football. Beach volleyball was won by 1RCR, while handball was taken by 3RCR.
The CFB Petawawa Terry Fox Run took in $9,287 with the top fundraising unit being 2CER raising $2,389.
Sean Chase is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist