A man is currently running from near his hometown of Duncan to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, to raise funds to help and save children's lives.
Rick Fall, who now calls the Soo home, had raised close to $25,000 by the time he reached Merritt on April 23, during his Home-to-Home run, on which he will be covering a total of 4,200 kilometres.
The Merritt Herald spoke with Fall at his stop at the Moon Shadows RV Park and Campground in Merritt about his journey so far. He and wife Collette stayed at the campground overnight on April 22, returning to where he last left the pavement at Exit 276 on the Coquihalla Highway on April 23.
Fall is expected to run through Kamloops this weekend.
"It started off a few years ago when my wife and I started working with the local Terry Fox Run in Sault Ste. Marie," Fall said. "A group of us, just sort of joking around, said we'd like to continue something like what Terry Fox did. And that stuck in the back of my mind. And, after running a number of marathons, I figured I maybe could do it."
His most recent feat of endurance, and toughest, began at Mile Zero of the Trans-Canada Highway on Vancouver Island on April 12. There, a statue of Terry Fox stands across from Beacon Hill Park, a fitting scenario for the run to start.
Fall humbly said that while he is inspired by household-name Canadians like Rick Hanson and Fox — who ran the distance of a marathon a day from St. John's, N.L. to northern Ontario in 1980 during his Marathon of Hope — he does not wish to be compared to such Canadian icons, noting his Home to Home run is a personal journey.
Working in the school system as a teacher in Sault Ste. Marie, Fall knew he wanted childhood cancer research, particularly Childhood Cancer Canada, to benefit from the journey.
"I saw a number of kids that had suffered from cancer, or needed help, in one way or another,” he said. “So I thought, why not children's cancer?”
Also benefiting from the cause is Make-A-Wish Canada. At the time he was deciding which foundations to go with, Fall was paid a visit from his sister from Duncan, who reminded Fall that her daughter had been granted a wish from Children's Wish, which is now Make-A-Wish.
"So I thought, why not go with that as well?” Fall said. “So, the two foundations are working really well together and we're able to split the proceeds 50/50."
Since April 12, Fall has been averaging about 42 kilometres — a marathon distance — per day.
"Some a little more, some a little less," he said.
The day before the Herald spoke with the distance runner, he had hit the one-day 50-kilometre mark.
By the time Falls runs into Sault Ste. Marie in August, he will have run the equivalent of about 100 marathons.
As for actually completing the incredible feat, Fall's thought process is "why not do it while I can?"
The goal is to raise a total of $300,000.
To read his story, keep updated on his run with a live tracking map and/or to make a donation to the cause, visit fallorick.com