09/16/2012 04:03 EDT | Updated 11/16/2012 05:12 EST

Maritimers race in 32nd Terry Fox Run

Thousands of runners from across the Maritimes took part in the annual Terry Fox Run Sunday.

Terry Fox started his cross-Canada run in 1980 after losing a leg to cancer. He was forced to end his run in Thunder Bay after the cancer spread to his lungs.

His journey has continued ever since with millions of people running in 60 countries around the world. The Terry Fox Foundation has raised more than $600 million for cancer research since his Marathon of Hope in 1980.

Rainy start to Cape Breton race

Despite a rainy start, hundreds of people showed up to the Cape Breton run in North Sydney.

Kay Batherson, chair of the North Sydney committee, said she remembers seeing Fox on his run through Cape Breton.

Doug Carter, a marathon runner, said what Fox did was exceptional.

"When I'm preparing for a marathon I'll take months, maybe four months or so, to get ready for one marathon. Terry himself, he ran a marathon one day and then he gets up early next morning and start a new one."

Islanders racing

The Charlottetown waterfront was bustling Sunday afternoon with about 200 people racing in the Terry Fox Run.

John Connolly, a co-organizer of the Terry Fox Run in Charlottetown, said the city has been a hotbed for Terry Fox in the past.

"There's not only runs in Charlottetown but runs in communities across the Island and the numbers for P.E.I. remain strong and consistent," said Connolly, "I think there's an abiding loyalty to Terry Fox and it's nice to see it continue. It's nice to be part of it."

Many reasons to race in New Brunswick

The run has grown to monumental size in New Brunswick since Fox's own Marathon of Hope in 1981.

Ron Roy participated in Saint John's run on Sunday. He also participated in the very first Terry Fox Run in 1981. His, then, 48-year-old father joined in at the last minute.

"And he ran it without effort, all 10 kilometres," said Roy.

Thirteen years later, Roy's dad died from cancer. He said after his father's death, running in the race means that much more.

"Every single time that I run the Terry Fox run, every year, I'm thinking about him," said Roy. "He died about this time (of year)."

With so many other fundraisers, the event isn't without competition. Mere metres away from Sunday's event, was another fundraiser for the Canadian Liver Foundation.

Terry Fox Run organizer Terrance Sullivan said the added competition isn't necessarily a bad thing. He said he hopes Saint John's Terry Fox Run will continue to grow in popularity next year.