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Sault-Ste. Marie man runs across Canada for charity

Rick Fall began running on April 12 from Victoria, B.C., and will end in Ontario in August

Rick Fall has been a runner for most of his life, and his first introduction to the sport was as a school kid in his childhood home in Duncan, B.C. Since then, he has completed 17 marathons, including Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, Boston, Berlin and New York City. On April 12, the 61-year-old began the “marathon of his life” as he set out to run “home to home,” from B.C. to his current home in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. With his wife, Colette Michel-Fall accompanying him in an R.V. for support, Fall will be raising funds for two deserving charities, Make-A-Wish Canada and Childhood Cancer Canada.

Photo: Rick Fall

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For several years, Fall and his wife have played an instrumental role in organizing their local Terry Fox Run, and through his role as a teacher, Fall has come into contact with many children who are suffering from cancer or other critical illnesses, including his own niece. He has witnessed the direct impact both organizations have had on those children and their families, and so he wanted to do something to support them. A passionate runner, he decided to lace up his shoes and run across the country.

After being postponed for one year due to the pandemic, Fall finally began his journey on April 12, starting in Victoria, B.C., and will run approximately 4,200 kilometres (roughly 100 marathons) until he reaches his current home in Ontario. If all goes according to plan, he expects to be home by early to mid-August.

“When we first started getting involved as volunteers [in the Terry Fox Run] it was put in my mind to do something like Terry Fox had done,” explains Fall. “So I thought I’d try to change it up a little bit and go the other direction.”

Fall cites Fox as one of his biggest inspirations, as well as other runners who have made the trek across Canada. After just over three weeks, he has already completed more than 800 kilometres of his journey. Aside from a couple of near run-ins with bears and some blisters, things have been going smoothly, and with the support of his wife and his friends and family back home and across the country, he’s been feeling healthy and ready to run. When we spoke, he had just completed his first 15K run of the day, with plans to do at least 25 more before the day is out.

Photo: Rick Fall

Fall’s route will be largely paralleling the Trans-Canada Highway, and will be taking him through Kamloops, to Regina, across the prairies to Thunder Bay, Ont., and finally along the north shore of Lake Superior to his home in Sault Ste. Marie. Supporters can track his progress by following the live map on his website, and can click here to donate. He has raised $30,000 so far, and hopes to reach his goal of $300,000 by the time he reaches the finish line.

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