Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Neil Johnson, race organizer of a Terry Fox Run next month in London, England, poses for a photograph near his home in Toronto, on July 29, 2020.

Christopher Katsarov/The Globe and Mail

The organizer: Neil Johnson

The pitch: Launching the Terry Fox run in Britain

Canadian businessman Neil Johnson has been living in London for years but a conversation with a friend in Toronto last September got him thinking about Terry Fox.

Story continues below advertisement

“He said ‘I’m busy tomorrow running the Terry Fox Run’ and I said, ‘I’m here in London, I’m going to find out where the Terry Fox Run is and join all the Canadians that are doing it,’ ” recalled Mr. Johnson, who runs a financing company called Duke Royalty Ltd. “There was no Terry Fox run.”

The run had been popular in the U.K. during the 1980s and 1990s, but it hadn’t been held since 2007. Mr. Johnson got in contact with the Terry Fox Foundation and asked about starting an event in London this year. “I’ve been a Canadian in London half my career, here’s a chance to bring an iconic Canadian figure to London. I can’t pass this up,” he said.

He began organizing the London run months ago and would’t let the COVID-19 pandemic get in the way. The U.K. run will join virtual Terry Fox Runs around the world on Sept. 20. Participants can run, bike or walk any distance around their neighbourhoods or try the traditional run of 2.5, 5 or 10 kilometres. All net proceeds in the U.K. will be donated to Britain’s Institute of Cancer Research.

Mr. Johnson, who survived prostate cancer, has been eager to tell friends in Britain about Terry Fox. The 22-year-old athlete from Port Coquitlam, B.C., lost his leg to cancer and began running across the country in 1980 to raise money for research. Mr. Fox had to end his run after making it from St. John’s to Thunder Bay, and he died a year later. Since then, Terry Fox Runs have been held annually in September and participants have raised more than $700-million in total for cancer research.

Mr. Johnson hopes the U.K. event will raise around £20,000, or $34,600. He’ll be running with his wife and son, and plans to complete 5 km. “I was in Vancouver in 1980 when Terry was making headlines,” he added. “I’m a cancer survivor and I’m so grateful for the awareness he brought to cancer research. It’s come a long way and we as Canadians can be proud of the role that Canada and Terry Fox has played.”

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies