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October 28, 2017 2:39 am

Labour Day Classic “Offers Something for Everybody”

Saturday, September 5, 2015 @ 3:48 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The 42nd annual Labour Day Classic goes this Sunday in Prince George.

Race director Dennis Straussfogel says it “offers something for everybody.”

Kids depart Civic Plaza fo kids fun run - 250 News photo archive

Kids depart Civic Plaza for kids fun run last year – 250 News photo archive

“We’ve got a loop in town that starts and ends at the Prince George Civic Centre,” he says.

“It’s a 8.5 mile loops which runners can run either once or twice. We also have a 5 km race for people who want to do a shorter distance and there’s also a short 1 km kids fun run for kids under 12 years old.”

He notes the run was started by “local running legend” Tom Masich back in 1974 when it used to start in Salmon Valley and wrap up at Spruceland.

After a couple of years Straussfogel says organizers felt that course became logistically difficult and moved it into town.

He says the participation of Terry Fox in the 1979 race is what makes the race an important part of Prince George history.

In fact Straussfogel says in many ways the Marathon of Hope didn’t start in Newfoundland but here instead.

“In 1979 Terry was just sort of formulating the idea of maybe doing this cross-country run but he hadn’t really run very much yet,” he says. “He was training with his friend Doug Alward in Port Coquitlam and Doug’s family who were from Prince George suggested hey, why don’t they go up there and run that.”

Straussfogel says “to the amazement of everyone here” he completed the run on one leg, which put his training ahead of schedule.

“Terry had thought he’d need a couple of years of training for his cross-country run, but after his 17 mile run in Prince George he said I’m ready to do it now so he started the following spring.”

Considering his cancer returned the following summer he says if it weren’t for his run here, “he very well never would have had the chance to start the Marathon of Hope.”

“Consequently, it’s truly significant this race. I don’t think people realize that we’ve got a real connection to Terry.”

As for interest in the run this year, Straussfogel says registration is down.

“I think all races are having the same trouble, I’m not sure what people are doing but we’d like to see the numbers come back up.”

If you’d like to register and take part, click¬†here.


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