New Signs Enhance Marathon of Hope Tribute in Port Coquitlam
PORT COQUITLAM, BC – July 7, 2022… New educational signs installed this week are bringing greater meaning and significance to Port Coquitlam’s distinctive tribute to Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope.
Last fall, the City unveiled a map of Fox’s epic 1980 journey and key milestones embedded in the lower plaza surface at Terry Fox Hometown Square, on the south side of the new Port Coquitlam Community Centre. The temporary signage for the tribute was replaced this week with two large signs featuring photos, graphics and text to provide understanding and context.
“Terry’s Marathon of Hope might have taken place more than 40 years ago, but it is still very much alive in many of our hearts, here in Port Coquitlam and elsewhere,” Mayor Brad West said. “The Marathon of Hope tribute at Terry Fox Hometown Square is a reminder of the sacrifice Terry made for all of us, and we created these signs to help people understand the significance of his journey and his legacy. We hope it will help inspire a whole new generation of Canadians to follow in the footsteps of our hometown hero, both literally and figuratively.”
Developed in consultation with the Fox family, the new 60-inch-wide (152 centimetres) signs encourage passersby to “Follow Terry’s Journey” and trace Fox’s route through the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Ontario as he made his way west toward his home in B.C.
The signs include quotes from Fox, images captured throughout the Marathon of Hope, and details about the stops Fox made along the way – starting on Apr. 12, 1980 in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. In his journal entry that first day, Fox wrote: “I had a police escort out of the city and many people followed me in cars. The Mayor ran a few steps with me. Along the way, everyone was honking and waving.”
A QR code on the signs takes visitors to more of Fox’s journal entries and audio file links on the Terry Fox Foundation website, along with additional photos and details about the Marathon of Hope. When Fox’s journey ended on Sept. 1, 1980 just east of Thunder Bay, Ontario, he had run 5,374 kilometres (3,339 miles) – the equivalent of about 128 marathons – over 143 days.
“We are equally proud and thankful with how the City of Port Coquitlam has recognized our brother and uncle with the Terry Fox Hometown Square, which features Terry’s Marathon of Hope route,” said Darrell Fox on behalf of the Terry Fox family. “The related signage and linkage to terryfox.org offers visitors the opportunity to gain inspiration from Terry’s vision and values and to understand why he was driven to give everything he had to help others.”
The new signs will greet Darrell Fox and his team of cyclists in the early morning of July 9 when they gather at Terry Fox Hometown Square. Residents are encouraged to come out and support the team who will be departing from the square at 5:30 a.m. The team will be riding 360 kilometres that day to Chilliwack as part of the annual Terry Fox Ride of Hope, launched by Darrell in 2015 to honour Terry and raise funds for cancer research.
Competitive or recreational cyclists are encouraged to plan their own Ride of Hope fundraising rides on July 9 of any length on and in any location, or join in existing rides. More information about ways to participate, raise funds or donate can be found at terryfox.org/rideofhope.
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