October 31, 2014
Today we run… or maybe walk… but either way, we participate in the Riyadh 2014 Terry Fox Run. As Canadians… and oncology nurses… it’s amazing to be able to participate in this event in honour of one of the most influential athletes/humanitarians in Canadian history… and to raise money for the Terry Fox Foundation. “A single dream. A world of hope.”
Terry Fox, aka Terrence Stanley Fox, was a Canadian who was passionate about many sports but unfortunately developed Osteosarcoma and had to have his leg amputated. Despite this amputation, in 1980, he began the “Marathon of Hope” and attempted to run across Canada in order to raise funds and awareness for cancer research. Unfortunately, after 143 days and 5373 kms, he lost his life to the cancer. But, he created a lasting legacy and the Terry Fox Foundation was created and every year, Canadians around the world run in the annual Terry Fox Run which has ben held every year since 1981.
So, as a group of Canadians… and girls of various other nationalities… we registered to run in Riyadh and this morning… got up bright and early to run at Salwa, a large compound near the outside the city of Riyadh.
Didn’t have time for coffee before leaving for Salwa… but no worries at all… they had Tim Hortons at the starting line!! This guaranteed that we wouldn’t be running as it is pretty difficult to run with a coffee and donut in hand… But we had a very joyous walk.
The sun was out, it was beautifully fresh and gorgeous. We shared a lot of laughs… starting out by laughing at ourselves as we were clearly not the brightest runners in the race… the start and finish line were both in the same place and somehow we started the race backwards… we ran the wrong way through the finish line and backwards down the course. We were wondering if we were going the wrong way… we passed a lot of people going the opposite direction from us.. before we clued in that in fact we were going the wrong way. Felisha thought it was a hoot that we were just walking the wrong way and wanted to continue that way. Of course I was shwaya embarrassed… who runs the wrong way through a race?!! Only the crazy Canadian girls! Eventually we decided it was silly to continue going the wrong way and turned around and went back and walked the correct way through the race path around the compound.
I had so much energy… probably just because I was in such an absolutely fabulous mood… so I played a bit of EDM (electronic dance music) and we walked/danced our way through the race… singing and laughing and just generally absolutely enjoying ourselves!! These girls… they really are amazing company!!!! Mafi homesickness when I’m around them!!!
So we reached the finish line and took the required finish line photos… Not posers at all!!!! :S haha.
Side note… Saudi’s don’t recycle. There are no recycling facilities… to my knowledge anyways. I always feel absolutely horrible when I have to throw away the 5 million plastic water bottles I drink from in a week into the regular garbage!! But… we found recycling at Salwa!! A bin for compost, waste and plastics!!! Vivian and I just had to take a picture with it!
And then… we had brunch with all the race participants… waiting eagerly for our names to be called in the raffle for fabulous prices… none of us won anything though 😦 But… it was a great way to start the morning…
Looking forward to the next run… the next adventure… the next bit of awesomeness that Riyadh delivers me…