Katona biking to Thunder Bay for cancer research Terry Fox Run goes Sunday

Combining his love of exercise with the will to raise funds for a worthy cause, Fort Frances resident Ed Katona has been a steadfast participant in the Terry Fox “Marathon of Hope” since its inception 25 years ago.
He’s even stepped up his efforts over the decade, pushing himself beyond the traditional 10-km route most others will cover here this Sunday during the local Terry Fox Run.
And this year will be no exception as he and former Stratton resident Arnie Johnsrud plan to bike to Thunder Bay to raise funds for cancer research.
Katona said he’s cycled to the Lakehead before for the cause, but this trek will be extra special due to the fact it’s the 25th anniversary of Fox’s ambitious endeavour.
“We’ll be leaving Friday. We want to be there for Terry Fox Day on Sunday,” noted Katona. “We’ll be going to the Terry Fox Memorial, and meeting some representatives of the Thunder Bay city council.”
Katona was given 13 Terry Fox commemorative coins by Fort Frances town council to present to the City of Thunder Bay—a goodwill gesture he feels is appropriate given the Terry Fox Memorial is a regional landmark.
Katona, a self-proclaimed fitness buff who follows an alternating schedule of running, cycling, and in-line skating, said he’s ready for the trip. He’s also road-tested his bike riding up to his cabin just to make sure there were no hidden mechanical problems.
Katona said he and Johnsrud, who now lives in Lorette, Man. and is an experienced long-distance cyclist, will take about two days to get to Thunder Bay and then two days to get back (although they may take a day to rest, especially if the wind was against them on the way there).
They also will be carrying their own food, water, and repair kits—the latter of which hopefully won’t be needed.
Katona, who is the town’s tax collector, has been contacting friends and acquaintances, as well as fellow town employees, for pledges. He said the fundraising, which yielded around $1,500 last year, is going well this time around.
He had $703 as of Tuesday, but noted anyone can call him before he leaves for Thunder Bay on Friday, or while he’s gone, to make a pledge.
Katona can be reached at home in the evenings at 274-6714 or during business hours at 274-5323 ext. 241.
In the past, Katona has biked to Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Duluth, and Minneapolis, as well as to Kenora, Dryden, and then back to Fort Frances in one trip.
< *c>Terry Fox Run
In related news, the local Terry Fox Run is ready to go this Sunday beginning at 2 p.m. sharp from the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau (located in the old CN station).
The route will follow Fourth Street West to Central Avenue, then up Second Street East to Victoria Avenue.
From there, it turns south to the La Verendrye Parkway (Front Street) and out to the overpass near Pither’s Point. Then it’s back to the Volunteer Bureau for the barbecue.
The total distance is 10 km.
For those who want to participate, but haven’t picked up a pledge sheet yet, you still can do so at the Volunteer Bureau, and various local businesses.
This year’s fundraising goal is $15,000. Last year, just over $9,000 was raised here.
If you want to volunteer the day of the run, sponsor the post-run barbecue, or have any other questions, drop by the Volunteer Bureau between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. today or Friday, or call executive director Denise Audette at 274-9555.