WATERLOO -- Runners and walkers in Waterloo Region laced up to take part in the 40th annual Terry Fox Run virtually.

The nationwide Marathon of Hope kicked off Sunday to celebrate the life of Canadian icon Terry Fox and his fight for a cure for cancer.

Participants for the 2020 edition of the event had the option of either hitting the road solo or with their bubble.

“One day, your way,” said Derek Hergott, the Waterloo Terry Fox Run organizer. “One day being Sept. 20 for the Terry Fox Run and all across the nation, and your way being any kind of mode of transportation that you can physically do, you can do that.”

There were runs taking place in six different locations across Waterloo Region: Elmira, Ayr, Kitchener, Cambridge, Waterloo, and Wilmot.

“Cancer isn’t waiting for COVID-19 to end,” said Nigel Gordijk, the Wilmot Terry Fox Run co-organizer. “We still need to fund cancer research. People are still getting sick with cancer. People are still dying with cancer, and we need to honour Terry’s memory by raising as much money as possible to fund life-saving cancer research.”

Runners in Waterloo Region are also making sure to honour the memory of people in their community as well.

“It’s personal for me,” said Sheweta Goel. “I lost my Dad to lymphoma, so it’s something that I want to continue to keep the spotlight on in anyway that I can, and to me supporting this cause is probably the best way.”

Participants are given until midnight on Sunday to complete their own Marathon of Hope, but donations can be made until the end of the month.