In two separate runs along the Charles River covering distances of 2.5 and 5 kilometers, the event formed part of a Canadian tradition brought to Harvard Square by members of the Canadian Club, according to event organizer Johnny Tang ’18.
Although he estimates that the event raised more than $1,000, Tang said the purpose of the event was not only to fundraise, but also to encourage participation and promote awareness.
In 1980, Fox, an athlete who had previously lost his right leg to cancer, embarked on a run across Canada to raise money and awareness for cancer research. He died before fulfilling his goal, but he became national hero, and events like Sunday’s run have become annual traditions in Canada.
In accordance with Fox’s original intentions, the event had no corporate sponsors, required registration fees, or required donations, according to Tang.
“I’ve done this run with every single school, every single year since probably grade 1,” said Tang, a Toronto native. “And I think it’s important because it’s not one of those shenanigan, donation, or fundraising sorts. This is genuinely a wholly good cause.”
Amid chatter among the participants and music from Canadian band “Down With Webster,” runners and walkers echoed Tang’s sentiment.
Harvard Law School student Shane K. Hebel added that the run was an opportunity to “get to know all the Canadians here.”
Yutong Shan, a graduate student and teaching fellow in Astronomy, highlighted the lifelong significance of the event.
“I remember raising money for events like this when I was younger, all throughout elementary school and middle school,” he said. “It just kind of stays with you.”