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Red Deerians will be on the run this weekend

Dr. Walter Reynolds Memorial Run and Terry Fox Run set for Sunday
Red Deer’s last in-person Terry Fox Run was held in 2019. Hundreds came out at the 39th annual event. (Photo by Advocate staff)

Red Deerians will be getting plenty of exercise with both the Terry Fox Run and the Dr. Walter Reynolds Memorial Run scheduled for Sunday.

Kelly Sampson, organizer of the memorial run for a Red Deer doctor who was killed in 2020, said holding the event on the same day as the Terry Fox Run was unintentional. The Terry Fox Foundation announced it was returning to an in-person event in April, and Sept. 18 had already been chosen for the Reynold run several months earlier.

When Sampson checked with the city to get a permit no other event was scheduled on that day.

“It definitely, certainly, wasn’t intentional and if I could change the day I would, but we were too far in with permits and materials printed,” said Sampson who has purchased a T-shirt in support of the Terry Fox Run.

She said more than 650 people have signed up for the memorial run and registration was closed due to the overwhelming response. She encouraged people to join the Terry Fox Run if they want to get out and be active this weekend.

Registration is still open for the Terry Fox Run and people can sign up the same day as the event.

Sampson, a Central Alberta Cancer Centre employee, said some people may even decide to participate in both runs, since the memorial run will be held in the morning, and the Terry Fox Run happens in the afternoon.


One-year anniversary since Red Deer doctor was killed

Reynolds, a 45-year-old father, originally from South Africa, died after he was attacked with a weapon while working at a Red Deer walk-in clinic.

He was a runner and participated in many local races, making a run a perfect way to honour him.

Sampson, a friend of the family, said a huge community response to the run was expected because of how deeply the tragedy affected the community.

It is hoped an event will be held annually to remember Reynolds, whether it’s a run, ball tournament, or something else, but that will be up to the Reynolds’ family, she said.

Money raised will go to Red Deer charities chosen by his family. They include Red Deer Hospice Society, and youth programs and clubs. More than $25,000 is expected to be raised.

Dr. Walter Reynolds Memorial Run, to be held at Bower Ponds, is a family-friendly one, five and 10-km walk/run.


This Sunday’s Terry Fox Run in Red Deer to be held virtually

Lori Hutchings, one of the organizers of the Red Deer Terry Fox Run, said it will be nice to host an in-person run again. Virtual runs were held in 2020, which was the 40th anniversary of the national event, and in 2021 due to the pandemic.

The local run has annually attracted anywhere between 200 to 450 people in past years.

“It’s totally weather-dependent some years, and what’s going on in Red Deer,” said Hutchings, adding many people wait to register on the day of the run.

“We have our traditionalists that come every year, and have some new people in memory of family members passing away.”

She said the nice thing about the Terry Fox Run is that there’s no entry fee, minimum pledge or donation required. People can walk, run, cycle, rollerblade or whatever they feel like doing on the one, five and 10-km city trail routes on the southern bank of the Red Deer River. Dogs on leashes are also welcome.

Registration starts at 11 a.m. and the run starts at 12 p.m. from Gateway Christian School, located at 4210 59th St.

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Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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