Sun, Oct 03, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Kaohsiung turns out for Fox run

CHARITY EVENT The recreational run to raise money for cancer research, which takes part in 8,000 cities annually, took the southern port city by storm yesterday

CNA , KAOHSIUNG AND TAIPEI

A man pushes a little boy in a three-wheeled stroller during the 2004 Terry Fox Run in Kaohsiung yesterday. The race was organized by Kaohsiung Medical University to raise funds for cancer research.

PHOTO: YANG CHING-CHING, TAIPEI TIMES

A huge crowd of Kaohsiung residents took part in the 2004 Terry Fox Run in the southern port city of Kaohsiung yesterday to raise funds for cancer research.

The non-competitive, recreational run was organized by Kaohsiung Medical University (KMU). Kaohsiung City Deputy Mayor Yao Kao-chiao (姚高橋) and KMU President Wang Kuo-chao (王國照) joined the run.

Many foreign expatriates also participated in the run through the city's major thoroughfares to show their support for the cause.

KMU President Wang said the annual Terry Fox Run is an international fundraiser aimed at encouraging cancer research.

Noting that the KMU is carrying out many innovative cancer treatment research programs, Wang said financial support from the Terry Fox Foundation has contributed much to the university's research work and has benefited many cancer patients.

Taiwan began to sponsor the annual Terry Fox Run in 1995. This year, the event will be held in four cities around the island -- Kaohsiung, Taipei, Taichung and Hualien. The Taipei run is scheduled for Oct. 31.

The annual Terry Fox Run commemorates Terry Fox, a Canadian track and field athlete who had his right leg amputated in 1977 at the age of 18 due to bone cancer. He managed to run across Canada with a prosthetic leg to raise funds for cancer research before dying of the cancer in 1981.

Despite his death, Fox's courage, perseverance and love spread around the world through his cross-Canada run. Nowadays, 8,000 cities in more than 50 countries around the world hold the Terry Fox Run annually to commemorate him and raise funds for cancer research.

In related news, the first Chinese marathon will be held on the outlying island of Penghu Sunday, with more than 4,600 Chinese runners from around the world participating.

Penghu County government said that there will be three divisions: a 42.2km marathon, a 10km race and a 3km race.

All three groups will depart from downtown Makung. The marathoners will run to the Cross-Sea Bridge, the longest inter-island bridge in the Far East, and then return.

Participants include Taiwan runners Wu Wen-chien (吳文騫) and Tsai Wen-hua (蔡旻樺), as well as Chinese Zhang Shujing (張淑晶), who clocked 2:34:34 and was 12th in the Olympic Games in Athens this year.

Penghu County Tourism Bureau head Lin Yao-cheng (林耀振) said the race will feature Chinese runners from five continents and the race route will take in much of the picturesque island. With a seafood festival in June and a fireworks festival in July, the marathon Sunday will be icing on the cake for the island's tourism, Lin said.

Chi Cheng (紀政), a former sprinter and currently president of the Chinese Marathon Association, said that although it is very windy at this time of year on Penghu, the participants will rise to the challenge.

Chi said that although the cash prizes for the winners of the races are not very big, it is the spirit of the event that matters and that in the future the purse could increase. The races are expected to be held each year from now on, she added.

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