Uganda’s Alex Chesakit Racing at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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By Paul Gains

East African runners have dominated the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon the past two decades, but one thing this IAAF Gold Label race has never had is a Ugandan victor.

Alex Chesakit is hoping to upset the favoured Kenyans and Ethiopians when he lines up for this year’s event on October 22nd.

The 36 year-old native of Kapchorwa in Uganda’s eastern highlands ran a personal best of 2:11:01 at the 2016 Cape Town Marathon and credits the influence of 2012 Olympic Marathon Champion Stephen Kiprotich for his success.

“Stephen inspired me a lot,” says Chesakit of his famous countryman, who was also crowned the 2013 IAAF World Marathon Champion. “I am expecting a win and to run a good time in the marathon very soon.

“Stephen is the key athlete in Uganda, and Kapchorwa specifically, and a role model for the new generation like Joshua Cheptegei and other youngsters who are coming up now. I always train with Stephen when he’s at home in Kapchorwa.”

Cheptegei, of course, is the young Ugandan who pushed the British superstar Mo Farah all the way to the line in the 2017 World Championship 10,000m final before settling for the silver medal.

Kiprotich’s Olympic gold medal, Uganda’s first since John Akii-Bua’s 400m hurdles gold at the 1972 Munich Olympics, launched a newfound interest in distance running. And, when the nation’s capital, Kampala, hosted the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in March this year massive crowds came out to support their heroes.

It is precisely because of the growing interest in running that in November of last year Global Sports opened a training camp in Kapchorwa on Mount Elgon. Global manages Kiprotich as well as 2016 Olympic champion, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya. The primary purpose of the new camp is to further develop talent in the region which has produced a string of international level distance runners. Most are preparing for the track but there more whose attention is focused completely on the half marathon and marathon distances.

Two full time coaches, a massage therapist – all Ugandans – work under a mentor coach from the Netherlands named Andy Ruiter here. At present they are working with about fifteen athletes most of whom are competing on the track still. Training there has lifted Chesakit’s expectations substantially.

“I live just outside the camp, but I am mostly there during the week especially when there is a key training session like track, fartlek, a long run and tempo runs,” he explains. “My house is near the track so when we go for a track workout I walk from home and meet the guys there.”

At home he has a family, a wife and three young children. Running, he says, is a means to provide a good lifestyle for them.

“Every marathon you run you take a new experience home and we try to improve for the next,” he says of his career to date.

“In Toronto I am hoping to break 2:10:00 for the first time which will help me to qualify for Commonwealth Games. I missed the World Championships in London due to visa issues. I was supposed to compete but the visa arrived too late.”

Like most East African runners Chesakit treats running as a profession and he realizes that time is fleeting.

“My goal is through running to secure finance for my family but ultimately to inspire many young talents in the sport,” Chesakit admits.

“I hope to compete for another ten years and my desire is to be a coach after retirement and help the new generation to get opportunities in life and show them the right way.”

The Toronto field is the strongest ever assembled in Canada with Kenyans Dickson Chumba, a past Chicago and Tokyo marathon winner, and defending Toronto champion, Philemon Rono already confirmed. Ethiopia will counter through the very talented duo of Solomon Deksisa, (2:06:22 at the 2016 Rotterdam Marathon) and Endeshaw Negesse, the 2015 Tokyo Marathon champion who has a personal best of 2:04:52.

Against such opposition, Chesakit will have his hands full. But the vision of being the first Ugandan to stand on the podium is a powerful one for this talented marathon runner.


For more information and to join Alex Chesakit at this year’s race:

About the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon:

An IAAF Gold Label race, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada’s premier, big-city running event, the Athletics Canada National Marathon Championships, and the Grand Finale of the 7-race Canada Running Series. In 2016 it attracted 26,000 participants from 70 countries, raised $3.24 million for 182 charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, and contributed an estimated $35 million to the local economy. The livestream broadcast was watched by more than 72,000 viewers from 129 countries.




ideal workout

When’s your ideal workout time?

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It’s hard to say when the ideal workout time is.  It’s a personal preference, but any option has it’s advantages. Some people can’t fathom rolling out of bed, into their running shoes and heading out the door before they’re truly awake. Others can’t imagine running in the heat of the afternoon, or in the darkness of night.  What works for one person, doesn’t always work for someone else. It comes down to running when it works best for you, your schedule, and your mind. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each time of day:

Morning runner:

Getting out of bed and going out for a run straight away is great for several reasons.  If you have a high-stress job that doesn’t have a clock-out time, running first thing in the morning will help you avoid missing workouts after work.  It can help boost your focus for the day, and kick-start your metabolism. Furthermore, it can lead to making healthier decisions throughout the day as you’ll have started your day on a high note. In terms of the run itself, there are usually less people out and about early in the day, so you won’t have to battle crowds on popular running routes in your city.

The downsides to running in the morning are due to our body’s physical state.  Body temperatures when you wake up are lower than later in the day. As a result our muscles, tendons and ligaments are colder and need some extra time to warm up.  If an adequate warmup isn’t done, it increases the risk of injury. Additionally, lung function is poor due to the lungs being more constricted and inefficient bringing oxygen in after a night’s sleep your. The inefficient oxygen intake makes hard efforts can seem more difficult early in the morning.

Afternoon/evening runner:

Working out later in the day allows the body to get moving and have the blood flowing through your muscles, ligaments and tendons. The body is a fine-tuned machine, that varies the amount of circulating hormones depending on the time of day.  In the afternoon/evening, testosterone levels are higher.  Thus, the afternoon is a great time for any strength or power workouts. In addition, cortisol (a stress hormone which aids in the storage of fat and reduction in muscle tissue) levels decrease throughout the day. Lower cortisol levels help to gain muscle mass.  Post-work times are typically safer to be out in too.  More people are doing post-work errands, or their own workouts, so areas are more populated and safer to run through.

Despite all the great things the afternoon has to offer, there are downfalls.  Leaving workouts to later in the day are seen to be easier to miss.  After a long day of work, when energy is low, it’s easy to lose motivation and opt out of a workout.  Especially in jobs that don’t have a set end time.  If you get caught up in a project, work later, and end up fuelling improperly, it’s not surprising if a workout gets missed.  There are no real physical downfalls, only psychological.  So if your will power is high and you prefer the evening routine, you’re good to go!

Whatever time you decide on, it’ll be the best time for you and your schedule.  There are pros and cons to any situation, just do whatever gets you into your shoes and outside!

Wonder Woman wins the Oasis ZooRun 10k

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TORONTO September 23rd. Canadian Olympian and national marathon record holder, Lanni Marchant won this morning’s 15th annual Oasis ZooRun 10k in 35:21, dressed as Wonder Woman. Toronto Olympic Club’s Wendimu Adamu took the men’s title in 31:01 over the hilly, winding course through the Toronto Zoo.  The 6th event in the seven-race Canada Running Series attracted a sold-out crowd of 5,500 participants from every Canadian province except Newfoundland, and 7 countries; 2,500 were in each of the 10k and 5k, with another 538 in the children’s Cub Run.  Conditions were fair for the 8am start of 10k, at 17c with some cloud-cover and no wind. By the time the recreational 5K and Cub Run took off at 10am and 11:30am, however, the skies were bright and clear and the temperature had risen another 10 degrees on an unseasonably warm autumn day.

Gradually returning from an illness that has taken out her whole 2017 racing year, Marchant decided to enter at the last minute, and do so in the ZooRun spirit by running in costume. “I’d say I’m about 80% right now,” she said after the race. “I’ve been doing a fair amount of easy running, about 130 to 145 kilometres a week, but this is the first week I’ve tried any quality, with a fartlek session. Last week in Vancouver (at Canada Running Series’ Under Armour Eastside 10k) was so much fun, and I’ve missed that. I want to have fun getting back to the high level of the sport, and that’s what a race like today was about.” But Wonder Woman also got in a little business, going to the front from the outset, pulling along a pack that included Masters athlete Lioudmila Kortchaguina, Newmarket Huskies’ Laura Desjardins,  Speed River TFC’s Katrina Alison, and Grand River Endurance’s Tanis Bolton. Marchant and Kortchaguina gradually moved away between 3k and 4k; then Marchant dropped Kortchaguina between 5k and 6k. “The wasn’t at all my plan,” said Lanni. “But then I had to commit to it and just keep pressing up the hills as best I could. I’m not going to lie, there were a few times I looked over my shoulder to make sure Lioudmila wasn’t coming back on me!” The 46-year-old Kortchaguina had the performance of the day, finishing a strong 2nd place, just 26 seconds back (35:47). Desjardins was 3rd, Alison 4th and Bolton 5th.

The men’s race featured an absorbing contest between Etobicoke’s Kyle Grieve and three of Toronto Olympic’s Ethiopian-Canadians: Wendimu Adamu who had won the Toronto Waterfront 10k in June, Hajin Tola and Berhanu Degefa. “We settled in the first 2km,” said Grieve. “A good group of guys. They did the work the first 3k, then I decided to take over and see if I could push it a little bit.” By 6k it was down to a duel between Grieve and Adamu. “We traded off the lead. He took the lead back around eight and a half K, but he didn’t gap me until about 500m to go. I tried to go for the win. It wasn’t in the cards today, but I’m happy with the effort,” said the 23-year-old Grieve.

Like Wonder Woman, many of the participants came for the fun and a family day at the Zoo, with free entry to all the runners. Costumes abounded. In the 10k, a pair of koalas took first prize. A zebra claimed the Cub Run costume award over a beautiful butterfly, and a shark/turtle/lobster team were applauded top honours in the 5K over a snow leopard, a bear, two wolves and a peacock. A unicorn and a large raptor were impressive “also-rans” in the 5K. The big winners on the day were the Toronto Zoo who took home a cheque for $46,000 to support their important animal conservation programs.

The final event of Canada Running Series takes place on October 22nd, with the IAAF Gold Label Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-marathon & 5K.



Under Armour Eastside 10k Recap

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The Under Armour Eastside 10K was an amazing success! It was great to see so many runners come out and support the Eastside community and we couldn’t have asked for better conditions for the run.

Here are some of the race-day highlights:

In case you missed it, Lanni Marchant appeared on Breakfast Television Vancouver on Friday to talk about the Eastside 10K and how to go from the couch to a 10k in no time. Click Here to watch the segment. Lanni also made an appearance at race packet pick-up on Friday to chat with runners and sign autographs for runners in attendance.

Here are some race day stats:

There were approximately 2,800 participants in the race with family and friends cheering along the route!

The top male finisher was Geoff Martinson with a time of 30:00. Justin Kent and Kevin Coffey finished with times of 30:17 and 30:38 respectively to round out the top three.

The top female finisher was Sarah Inglis with a time of 33:45. Leslie Sexton and Natasha Wodak finished with times of 34:00 and 34:32 respectively to round out the top three.

Under Armour athlete and Canadian marathon and half-marathon record holder Lanni Marchant placed an encouraging fourth in 34:37 as she continues her comeback from illness.

Close to $17,000 has been raised to date from the fundraising efforts of our competitors for the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, and PHS Community Services Society.

Thank you for making the Under Armour Eastside 10K such an incredible experience. See you again next year! Please share your race day pics on Instagram using #UAEastside10K.

Djibouti’s Mumin Gala to Race Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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By Paul Gains

With their medal-winning performances at the1985 IAAF World Cup Marathon in Hiroshima a pair of Djiboutian runners left international sports journalists scratching their heads with one hand while turning the pages of a global atlas with the other.

“Where on earth is Djibouti?” they cried in unison.

Ahmed Salah and Djama Robleh finished first and third respectively, stunning the world class field and further adding to their legend by leading the country to the team gold medal.

Salah would defend his World Cup title two years later in Seoul before earning silver medals at both the 1987 and 1991 IAAF World Championships.  Although Salah and Robleh became national heroes, since then the country has not had anywhere near the level of success in the long distance events. Mumin Gala is hoping to change that.

Gala celebrated his 31st birthday on September 6th and has announced he will race the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 22nd. This will be his first marathon since finishing 12th in the Rio Olympics in 2:13:04 – just two places behind Canada’s Eric Gillis.

Though he had qualified to represent Djibouti at the 2017 IAAF World Championships, in the days leading up to the race, he decided not to run after injuring his calf. Now all his heavy marathon training is expected to pay off on the streets of Canada’s largest city.

He also represented his native country at the 2012 Olympics and finished 13th in the 5000m. He spent a few years in England racing as a member of the Newham and Essex Beagles whose most illustrious member is legendary distance runner Mo Farah. With a personal best 5000m time of 13:17.77 he realized his limitations on the track. These days he spends most of his time in Ethiopia’s high altitude, training with a marathon group.

“I was born in Djibouti City (the capital). I left Djibouti in 2003 and went to London,” Gala says. “In the past I trained with Mo Farah but not since he moved to the US. I live in Addis most of the time. I would say between nine and ten months of the year. My coach is Haji Adilo and he coaches a lot of elite athletes such as Tadese Tola and Lelisa Desisa.”

Adilo’s group can number around 100 men and women on any given day and Tola and Desisa are two exceptionally competent ‘training partners’. Tola claimed the marathon bronze medal at the 2013 IAAF World Championships while Desisa has twice won Boston.

Though he may appear to be a wandering soul, piling on the air miles as he goes back and forth between Djibouti and Ethiopia with occasional trips to England for good measure, Gala calls Djibouti “home sweet home.”

“I have a family in Djibouti and two beautiful girls ages one and four. I try to visit them as often as possible,” he declares. “I spend time with my kids at home. If I go to London I visit my brother and the rest of the time is training and going to the gym.”

Mumin is tremendously optimistic about his prospects at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and has good reason to be. That rain soaked 12th place finish at the Rio Olympics, was his first serious attempt at the distance. He had run Hamburg in April 2016, just to get a qualifying mark.  Earlier this year he improved his personal best half marathon time, finishing 3rd in the Rabat International Half Marathon in 1:02:41 and hasn’t come close to tapping his marathon potential.

“My goal is to run under 2:10,” he declares. “I am looking forward to a great race.”

And a great race is what he will surely find when the starter’s pistol fires. As the first runner from Djibouti to race Toronto he faces the formidable Kenyans Dickson Chumba (a past Tokyo and Chicago winner) and the defending Toronto champion, Philemon Rono. Ethiopia will counter with Endeshaw Negesse, the 2015 Tokyo Marathon champion (personal best of 2:04:52) and Solomon Deksisa, who ran 2:06:22 at the 2016 Rotterdam Marathon.

Clearly the stage is set for a memorable race in Toronto. Weather permitting, the course record (2:07:05) and Canadian All Comer’s records (2:06:54) are legitimate targets, but more than anything Gala wants to restore Djibouti’s name to the top of marathoning.


For more information and to join Mumin at this year’s race:

About the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon:

An IAAF Gold Label race, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada’s premier, big-city running event, the Athletics Canada National Marathon Championships, and the Grand Finale of the 7-race Canada Running Series. In 2016 it attracted 26,000 participants from 70 countries, raised $3.24 million for 182 charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, and contributed an estimated $35 million to the local economy. The livestream broadcast was watched by more than 72,000 viewers from 129 countries.


Sarah Inglis and Geoff Martinson win the Under Armour Eastside 10K

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Inline image 2


Sarah Inglis and Geoff Martinson win the Under Armour Eastside 10K

VANCOUVER, September 16,2017 – Geoff Martinson cruised to a comfortable victory in 30:00 at this morning’s Under Armour Eastside 10k in Vancouver.  Falkirk, Scotland’s Sarah Inglis claimed a surprise win in 33:45 in a thrilling women’s race.

A sold-out record crowd of 2,800 runners toured historic Gastown and the streets of Eastside Vancouver under sunny skies and perfect 13 degrees Celsius weather.  The fifth year of the race featured a new course that started and ended at the iconic Woodward’s building.       

Martinson took a lead pack of five through a leisurely first kilometre in 3 minutes and 2 seconds. He injected a little pace in the third kilometre and the group was whittled down to three: Martinson, Justin Kent and Kevin Coffey. Coffey didn’t survive the impressive hills between the 5 and 6 kilometres and the race came down to a dual between Martinson and Kent.  Martinson made his final surge at 8km to claim the victory. This is the second time Martinson, a former Canadian 1,500m international, has won the race.  Kent held on for second in 30:17, with Kevin Coffey third in 30:38. 

On the women’s side, last year’s champion Leslie Sexton of London, Ontario led through the first kilometre before Canadian Olympian Natasha Wodak and Sarah Inglis moved to the front and dropped her.  The Ontarian, who has been running over 200km a week in preparation for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon next month, pulled them back on the big hills after 5km, but couldn’t contain Inglis’ speed on the downhill final 2km.  At the line, Sexton was happy to be just 15 seconds back while Wodak held on for third in 34:32.  Under Armour athlete and Canadian marathon and half-marathon record holder Lanni Marchant came home an encouraging fourth in 34:37 as she continues her comeback from illness.

“I am really happy to win the race with a personal best today,” said Sarah Inglis.  “It was a great field of women this year with Natasha, Rachel and Leslie and I felt strong on the hills and great during the race. I’ve been training really well and I am looking forward to the Victoria half marathon in a couple of weeks.” 

The race was also an important fundraising event for three Eastside community charities: The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, PHS Community Services Society, and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Combined, the 2,800 participants have already raised $17,000 and participants can continue to fundraise online until October 1st online at

“Thanks to everyone who was part of such a spectacular morning.  The sun shone brightly over the Eastside, the athletes up front put on a show for us, and a record crowd showed they cared about our community raising money with every step,” said Race Director Clifton Cunningham. “We couldn’t have had a better day.” 

Under Armour Eastside 10k top finisher’s results:

10km Male  
1. Geoff Martinson – Vancouver, BC
2. Justin Kent – Burnaby, BC
3. Kevin Coffey – Vancouver, BC
10km Female 
1. Sarah Inglis – Langley, BC
2. Leslie Sexton – London, ON
3. Natasha Wodak – North Vancouver, BC
Information and complete race results can be found at   
For more information on Canada Running Series events, please visit
About Under Armour Eastside 10k:
The Under Armour Eastside 10k is part of the prestigious Canada Running Series. As Vancouver’s premier fall 10k, it takes place in the Eastside, running for three Eastside embedded charities, with the great Eastside Community. 2,800 runners take to the streets each September to show their love for the heart of Vancouver. Canada Running Series is the nation’s premier running circuit with events in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.  It annually attracts over 60,000 participants and raises more than $6 million for some 320 charities. Canada Running Series is strongly committed to staging great experiences for runners of all levels from first time runners, charity supporters and Canadian Olympians; and to making sport part of sustainable communities and the city-building process.  Our mission is “building community through running”. For more information please visit:
For media inquiries, please contact:    
Carolyn Abbass
Serena Vampa
Canada Running Series
Cell: 778-549-8329
 Photo credit: Mark Bates, Canada Running Series

Race Day Tips for #UAeastside10k

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Every year we’re joined by hundreds of new runners at the Under Armour Eastside 10k. We’ve taken some tips from the seasoned runners out there and come up with the ABC’s of how to set yourself up for a great race – both before and after the event.

While this guide is primarily aimed at new runners, it’s always good to refresh your memory even if you’ve been racing for decades! Also be sure to check out our Race Etiquette Page.

Before the Race

A – Know where you need to be and when

This may seem obvious, but it’s so often overlooked. You can save yourself a amount of stress on Race Day (and the days leading up to it) by knowing where to go and when. This includes knowing where to pick up your race package and bib number in the days leading up to the race, as well as how to get to the start line.

  • Package Pickup – ALL participants must pick up their race package and bib number at Package Pickup before Race Day. Package Pickup is located at the SFU Segal Building — 500 Granville St (Granville @ Pender) and is open on Friday September 15th from 11:30am to 6:30pm, and Saturday September 16th in the Woodwards Atrium from 7am-8am. More details here.
  • Start Line – The run will start and finish on Cordova Street, near the Woodward’s Development. Your best way to get to the Start Area is to take public transit. To plan your trip, click here and select your starting location then choose Transit direction. Woodward’s is a short walk from either Waterfront Station or Stadium Skytrain Station. The second best way to get there is to bike, as BEST will be providing a complimentary and secure Bike Valet right beside the Start/Finish Line.A reminder that road closures will be in effect for the event, so please leave extra travel time. Recommended routes into Downtown are Hastings Street, Georgia Street, and Cambie Street Bridge.Driving to the start line? The easiest access/parking option is to take Cambie Street northbound to Cordova, then turn right to access the parking garage off of Cordova Street. Note that this access route is only possible until 8:15am, after which Cordova Street will be fully closed for the start of the race. If you are dropping someone off, please do so on Hastings Street.For full road closures details click here.

B – Don’t do anything new! We mean it!

A common mistake is to try something new just before or on Race Day. This could be anything from wearing a new pair of shoes during the run to changing up your diet the day before. If you typically eat a simple pasta the night before your training runs, don’t try out that new sushi place around the corner on Friday night. If you don’t usually have coffee before your training runs, don’t go for a double espresso on Race Day morning. Stick with what works for you – from your meals to your running clothes to your morning routine.

C – Start in the right corral

What’s a corral? In order to give everyone their best experience on Race Day, runners are typically assigned into a corral based on their predicted finish time. At the #UAeastside10k all runners will self-assign themselves to a estimated finish time.  Speedsters can start at the front of the pack while walkers start further back. Please be respectful of other runners and line up according to your expected finish time, and be honest in your approximations. Please also be mindful of other runners who may need to pass you on course.  Keep in mind the race start closes 10 minutes after the scheduled start time.  Make sure you arrive on time.

Corral colour Est. finish time Start time
Black Elites  8:30am
RedRed Corral < 50min   8:30am
Yellow CorralYellow 50–58min   8:30am
BlueBlue Corral 58–66min   8:30am
GreenGreen Corral 66min +   8:30am

Corral details for the race here.

BONUS – use our Gear Check to store a bag of warm, dry (and less-sweaty) clothes for after the race. Your $2 donation will go to our Featured Charities.

During the Race

A – Make sure your bib number is on your front and visible

We use a bib-tag timing system, which means your timing chip is embedded in your bib number. In order for it to work properly and have your time recorded:

  • Do not remove the “bibTag” or foam spacer from your bib.
  • Do not fold your bib or excessively bend or twist the “bibTag”.
  • Wear your bib on your chest/abdomen. Do not wear on your back, side, leg or arm.
  • Do not cover your bib with clothing – always make sure it is completely visible.
  • Make sure you cross over the timing mat at both the Start Line and the Finish Line.
    ***Start Line will CLOSE 10min AFTER THE SCHEDULED START TIME ***

B – Start slow and stay even

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of Race Day and start out too fast. Do the opposite – start a little slower than your normal pace and gradually pick up your pace over the first kilometre. After that, try to keep an even pace throughout the race and save your extra energy for the final push to the Finish Line!

C – Be prepared for whatever Mother Nature brings

No one knows what the weather will be in September, so it’s important to be prepared for anything. If it’s hot, bring your own water, but we’ll also have plenty of aid stations on course, serving up both water and Gatorade. If you are using one of the aid stations:

  • When approaching a hydration station, move to the side of the road, grab your fluid/nutritional needs and keep moving. There will be multiple hydration tables so if the first table is busy KEEP MOVING.
  • There will be water refill stations for those runners carrying their own bottles.
  • Throw your used cup to the side of the road as close to the hydration station as possible, ideally in one of the marked bins. Drop your cup down by your waist so you don’t hit/splash another participant. Please don’t litter on the course after passing the last aid station garbage bin.
  • If you plan to stop at the aid station, move past the tables and pull off to the side of the road.
  • Say thank you to the volunteers!

After the Race

A – Keep moving

Collect your medal as you cross the Finish Line, then keep moving through the chute until you get to the Post-Race Recovery Area. Keep moving for at least 10 more minutes afterwards to gradually bring your heart rate down and help your legs flush out that lactic acid (this will prevent you from being stiff tomorrow).

B – Refuel and rehydrate

Right after the finish line we’ll have water and Gatorade for you to rehydrate with. Grab a cup and keep walking – there will be more in the Post-Race Recovery Area. A variety of snacks will be available in the Recovery Area, including bananas, bagels, Powerbar, cookies, juice, and yogurt. The carbs will help replenish your energy stores while a bit of protein will help rebuild your muscles. Make sure you eat something within 30 minutes of crossing the line.

There will also be an Under Armour stretching station after the Finish Line, so you’ll have a designated area to do a proper cool-down and post-race stretch!

C – Get warm and enjoy the Finish Area

After you’ve fueled up, stop by Gear Check to collect your spare clothes. Even on a sunny day, your core temperature will drop fast once you stop moving, especially when you’re still wearing sweaty clothes. Once you’ve done that, check out the Awards Ceremony (9:45am).

Post-race brunch is always key. There are many excellent restaurants in the area, including The Charles Bar that is putting on a special brunch from 9:30-11:30am. You must buy a ticket ahead of time, which will be given to you at package pickup. Click here to reserve your spot!

Congratulations! Now it’s time to start planning your next race – registration for the 2018 Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k, or the 2018 Under Armour Eastside 10k opens after the race on Saturday!

An Inspired Leslie Sexton to Race Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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By Paul Gains

Inspiration can be derived from a variety of sources when it comes to marathon running. In the case of Leslie Sexton, a self -admitted Star Wars geek, the strength exuded by a fictional character has raised her spirits.

Two years ago, Sexton knocked close to six minutes off her then personal best with a 2:33:23 clocking at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Now the thirty-year old London, Ontario resident has her sights set on improving on that time at the 2017 edition of this IAAF Gold Label race.

Of her fascination with Star Wars she speaks unabashedly.

“I really like the character of Rey in ‘The Force Awakens’ because she has got this real strength and independence,” Sexton reveals. “I sort of like to think of that sometimes when I am out doing lots of miles on my own. I have a lot of fictional characters I like to think about. There are runners I look up to but I will think about Star Wars or something cool that Wonder Woman would do.”

That’s not to say Sexton doesn’t have some more earthly heroes. Watching Emma Coburn of the US strike 3,000m steeplechase gold in the recent World Championships, an enormous upset in sporting terms, stirred her soul, she admits. And there are others.

“A sort of hero for me over time has been (American marathoner) Desiree Linden because she was someone who had some talent but wasn’t a top high school or collegiate runner and has stuck with the same coach over time and had great results,” she explains. “I see her as a grinder. She does the work; she doesn’t complain and has been consistent year after year. I think she is really my inspiration for sure.”

Overcoming odds seems to be a theme that captivates Sexton. After turning her ankle while trail running at the end of last year she has been focusing on returning to form.

“I was off for four months and didn’t start running until the start of April this year,” she reveals. “In terms of racing in the summer, part of it was just spending time getting fit again. The first one back was the Toronto Waterfront 10k in mid-June. That went fairly well. Then I did a couple of track races that weren’t as fast as I wanted. The main thing of that summer block was getting fit again and getting back to interval training and a bit of racing.”

Now her confidence is soaring after running between 200 and 210 kilometres in each of the past four weeks. That includes some interval training. When she is not out with her London Runners’ training mates, she works part time at a local running store. She also coaches some club members. Under coach Steve Weiler’s watchful eye, her own fitness continues to grow, which has her eagerly anticipating Toronto Waterfront.

“I feel like every workout I am showing improvement,” Sexton maintains. “The times are coming down and I am getting fitter. I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be going for a personal best in Toronto if things keep going well.”

Sexton understands she is amongst a fine group of Canadian women who are stepping on the heels of Olympians Lanni Marchant and Krista DuChene. Going toe to toe with them in Toronto is all the more appealing especially since the race is a Canadian Championships.

“I love that the Canadian Championships are in Toronto,” she declares. “It’s a race I would do anyway whether it was here or not. But having that Canadian Championships and having a lot of good Canadians on the line makes it all the more special. It makes it a good competitive race. So, I want to be very much about running even and running a fast as possible time and hopefully the place will take care of itself.

“Right now it’s just about taking small steps. If it is only 30 seconds or a minute at a time I am knocking off I am still happy with that, because I am moving forward.  And, even this year, coming back from an injury and having a rough year last year (in terms of race results), it has taken the pressure off me to run like a 2:31 or 2:32. I am still chasing fast times but to me it would be good just to get back in that range.”

England Athletics are sending Tish Jones (2:33:56 in London this year and winner of last Fall’s Cape Town Marathon) and Anna Boniface (2:37:07 this year in London) to Toronto and no doubt Sexton will find herself in close proximity to them during the race.

Among the Canadians she will face is the aforementioned Olympian Krista DuChene who ran 2:28:32 on this course four years ago, and Natasha LaBeaud. The latter has a personal best of 2:35:33 recorded in Toronto in 2014. In addition, a trio of relative newcomers to the distance will battle for Canadian medals and prize money.

They are Montreal’s Melanie Myrand, third in the 2017 Canadian Half Marathon Championships; Arianne Raby, also from Montreal, won the Montreal Marathon last Fall then took 7 minutes off her PB in Ottawa this Spring where she ran 2:41:58; and Lyndsay Tessier, winner of the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon in June.


For more information and to enter this year’s race:

About the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon:

An IAAF Gold Label race, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada’s premier, big-city running event, the Athletics Canada National Marathon Championships, and the Grand Finale of the 7-race Canada Running Series. In 2016 it attracted 26,000 participants from 70 countries, raised $3.24 million for 182 charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, and contributed an estimated $35 million to the local economy. The livestream broadcast was watched by more than 72,000 viewers from 129 countries.

eastside course

Your Guide to the Under Armour Eastside 10k

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We know the feeling all too well, you signed up for your race ages ago and now it’s snuck up on you with less than one week to go. Here’s everything you need to know to get ready for race day:

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What to wear:

Make sure you’re prepared for whatever mother nature has in store for race day, whether it be hot, cold or raining. If you’re in need of new pair of running shoes, our sponsor Under Armour has shoes suitable for any type of running style and gear to keep you one step ahead of the elements. If it rains, make sure you layer up, wear quick drying gear, and wear a hat to keep the rain out of your face. In order to make sure Eastside 10K participants have the best gear possible, the top five fundraisers will receive head-to-toe Under Armour running gear and entry into the 2018 race.

Who to look out for:

On race pack pick-up day, Canadian marathon record holder and Olympian, Lanni Marchant will be on site taking pictures and signing autographs for her fans from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m..

How to share:

Did you even really do the run if you don’t have a picture to prove it? Share your experience with fellow runners before, during, and after the run using the hashtag #UAEastside10K. Not only are we excited to see the run from your perspective, but we want you to show the world why the Under Armour Eastside 10K is the best run in Vancouver.

Who you are supporting:

The Under Armour Eastside 10K is a run in, for and with the Eastside of Vancouver. The run has partnered with three amazing charities, the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, and PHS Community Services Society.

We look forward to seeing you all on race day!

Race day etiquette & pacer information

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Race day is the most exciting part of any training build.  After months of workouts, long runs, and mentally preparing for a race all seems worth it when you finally get to pin your race bib on, and accomplish your goal.  To make a race the best experience possible, there are some race etiquette tips to keep in mind for the big day.

Before the race:

  • Read the website, entry form or other race information before contacting the race directly. All of the race details you need to know are probably there.
  • Respect entry restrictions. Check if the race permits wheelchairs or baby joggers, imposes a minimum age, or has time restrictions.
  • Pay attention to packet pickup hours. Do not show up at other times and expect to receive your race packet/number.
  • Carefully check your information at packet pickup. The time to correct any errors such as age, gender, or misspelling of your name is BEFORE the race.

Race day:

  • Keep your race bib visible. Pin your number on the FRONT of your shirt or outermost clothing. Announcers, photographers, timers and medics use it to help identify you.
  • Start in the correct corral. There is a reason why races ask for your predicted finishing time.  Slower runners and walkers should move into to the later corrals as their race bib indicates to avoid any congestion for faster runners trying to pass by. Arriving early doesn’t mean you can start at the front of the race. If you want to switch corrals, there are usually spots at package pickup to request that change.
  • Don’t make a fence.  It is incredibly frustrating to try and pass a large group of slower individuals who take up the entire width of the street during a race.  If you’re in a large group, respect other races, and stay two abreast.  If you’re walking, please remain behind the runners to avoid obstruction.
  • Pass on the left, stay to the right. If you’re speeding along, pass runners on their left. If you need to slow down, move to the right to allow others to easily pass. The first mile or so of a race can be crowded and sometimes you need to weave to pass people.  Just be aware of those around you.
  • Don’t stop dead in your tracks. If you need to stop for any reason move to the side.  Whether it’s an untied shoelace, your walk/run program, or an urgent phone call, don’t stop dead in your tracks. Look around, move to the side and slide back into the race when you’re ready.
  • Be mindful before taking mid-race photos. Many runners love documenting their journey, especially since selfies have become all the rage.  These are great mementos, but please step to the side when taking them. The last thing you want is another runner plowing through you and your phone shattering on the ground.
  • Don’t tune out. Portable headphone devices for iPods, MP3 players, phones etc are discouraged for your safety and the safety of others.  Blasting music in your ears can block out any verbal warnings/directions or sounds of vehicles/participants along the course. Be aware of your surroundings for your own safety, as well as for respecting others.
  • Be aware of other runners at water stops. If you’re skipping the water, run straight through the station and don’t crowd where the water is located.  If you need to wet your whistle, minimize congestion by grabbing quickly and move to the side once you’ve passed the water station volunteers before slowing down.
  • Listen to your body. If you’re not having a great day and decide to drop out, tell someone.  Sometimes race day doesn’t go as planned.  If you need to drop-out, be sure to tell a race volunteer so no one is looking for you afterwards.
  • Run through the finish line. Hundreds of runners are coming through behind you, so move towards the medals and snacks to avoid congestion in the finishing chute.
  • Share the post-race goodies.  After a race, the first thing runners see are the food tents.  While you’ve just burned a lot of calories during the race, remember that everyone else in the race has too.  Take one of each thing to allow every runner to replenish their energy once they cross the finish line.


Many races have a group of volunteers that run the race to help others reach their goals.  These pacers, sometimes known as pace bunnies, are a valuable tool for staying on target for your goal.  When following a pacer, always keep an eye on your own time as well, just in case.  At the Under Armour Eastside 10k, there are 15 pacers for a number of race times.  The pacers will have matching pacer kits on, and will hold a sign with their designated pace time on it.  Hop in to whatever group matches your personal goal and let the camaraderie of others help pull you along!  The pacers will be as follows:

  • 45:00 = Lucas & Tibor
  • 50:00 = Alan & Fergus
  • 55:00 = Kenny & Shannon
  • 60:00 = Karl, Mark & Andy
  • 65:00 = Kelsey & Olivia
  • 70:00 = Erika & Evgeny
  • 75:00 = Fiona & Maryam