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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Trio of Guinness World Records Title Seekers to Run Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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By Paul Gains

In addition to the formidable cache of elite runners from around the world, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, each year, attracts thousands running for charities and many more simply committed to the challenge of completing the distance faster than ever.

Then there are those hearty souls seeking a Guinness World Records title.

Michal Kapral set a world ‘joggling’ – juggling balls while running – marathon record ten years ago in Toronto when he completed the distance in 2 hours 50 minutes and 12 seconds. That was with three balls.

Owner of three Guinness World Records currently, Fastest 10km joggling with three objects (male) 36:27, Fastest half marathon joggling with three objects (male) 1:20:40, and Fastest marathon joggling with three objects (male) 2:50:12, on October 22nd, 2017 he will attempt to set the record for Fastest marathon joggling with five objects (male).

“I have upped the ante big time with this attempt to do five ball,” Kapral says laughing. “There is no current Guinness World Records title.

“As far as I know there is only one other person who has done a marathon while joggling five. That was back in 1993 a guy named Billy Dillon who was a kind of a five ball juggling pioneer He ran the New York Marathon in 7 hours 7 minutes. And he was a very fast runner. So you can see just how much harder it is to joggle with five.”

It has taken Kapral, who points to a personal best marathon of 2:30:40, almost six months to learn the pattern of juggling with five balls. He practices each lunch hour at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium, much to the amusement of the university football team, which also trains around that time. Learning how far ahead he must toss each ball to catch and transfer between hands has proven much more challenging.

“With the five balls I have discovered there is no such thing as an easy pace,” he explains. “Immediately my heart rate shoots up. It is really, really tiring. It is also addictive. It’s super fun when you have three balls in the air. It is a ton of fun but definitely this is going to be by far the hardest record I have tried.”

Kapral will be accompanied by his joggling rival Zach Warren during the Toronto race who will act as spotter so that he doesn’t interfere with other runners. As a precaution Kapral usually runs on the opposite side of the road to others. He has chosen to fundraise for Sick Kids Foundation, an official charity of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

A year ago Daniel Janetos ran Toronto wearing a chef’s costume the entire distance. He recorded a time of 3:56:21 to earn the Guinness World Records title of Fastest marathon dressed as a chef. This year Janetos, who owns the annual Mac and Cheese Festival at Ontario Place, intends to chase the record for the Fastest half marathon achieved in a chef’s costume.

“It’s a little bit goofy, I get it,” he declares. “Really the number one thing is to raise money for charity. It’s the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation.

“These guys have been a grassroots agency for 25 years and with my help were able to formalize into a foundation. We were able to get some funding for them. My running helps them to take care of animals.”

Janetos is aiming to run 1 hour 45 minutes for the 21km race to claim the record title. That’s a tall order when his personal best for the distance is roughly that. Add such ingredients as a 9 pound pot and chef’s clothes and it’s certainly not as easy as someone might think. He trains as part of a group called Food Runners which aims to improve the health and fitness levels of people in the food industry.

“I try to make sure I am out at least three hours a week in the early stages. Then I follow a more rigorous program that our coach puts together for us,” he explains.

“I do train with my girlfriend Kate Boyle, She usually stops running with me when I put on my chef uniform. She is a little more low key. As soon as I put the chef’s hat on she is out.”

Running in a chef’s uniform is mind boggling. How about running 42.2km wearing a lumberjack costume complete with heavy boots? That’s what Dan Grant will attempt to do. The Torontonian has applied to attempt the Guinness World Records title of Fastest marathon dressed as a lumberjack (male) and has agreed to the costume they have assigned: a plaid/flannel short sleeved shirt, suspenders, denim pants, a stocking cap or beanie, lace up outdoor boots and an inflatable axe.

“I’ve run three marathons in the past couple years,” Grant reveals, “as well as a 60k run to Hamilton last month, so the distance doesn’t scare me. I am little worried about how much it’s going to slow and weigh me down if it rains during the STWM.”

At the Toronto Waterfront 10k on June 17th Grant finished in 44:53, claiming to be below his best. He had run another 10k race thirty six hours before.

Another concern for Grant is that he is a vegan and wants to find non leather boots in which to run.

Grant is growing a beard to further ‘grow into the part.’ He reports that Great Lakes Brewery has agreed to supply his post training fueling with a generous supply of Canuck Pale Ale. A year ago the owner of the brewery shaved Grant’s head in a fundraising event for Sick Kids Foundation. He will run Toronto Waterfront Marathon to raise funds for Good Foot Delivery one of the official charities of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

City marathons embrace runners of all descriptions and Toronto is no different. The inclusion of this trio of record seekers certainly enhances the enjoyment of this annual IAAF Gold Label event.

Interested in attempting a Guinness World Record at this year’s race? Please contact Jenna Pettinato, Canada Running Series’ Manager of Communications at jenna@canadarunningseries.com or visit our website: http://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/guinness-world-records/

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Running Room renews partnership with Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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Canada Running Series is delighted to announce one of the world’s leading running retailers, Running Room, has renewed their multi-year partnership with the 2017 edition of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half marathon & 5K, to be run on Sunday, October 22nd. Running Room will host the official marathon and half marathon Training Clinics and take on the Official Merchandise sponsor to complement their Official Sporting Goods Retailer category. In addition to financial support, this collaborative partnership will also include cross promotions over the next 5 months with New Balance, the new Athletic Footwear and apparel partner of the event.

“We’re thrilled to have Running Room return to Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon,” said Canada Running Series president, Alan Brookes. “They have been an outstanding partner since 2007 and have played a vital role in building the success of our IAAF Gold Label race. They also bring unparalleled product support and advice to our runners, and their passionate, unwavering support for running in Canada, especially through their training clinics, has been invaluable. We’re also very excited to see their line of STWM Official Merchandise and Training shirts this year, which will be made available online.”

According to John Stanton, Founder of the Running Room:

“The Running Room is proud to sponsor the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, a prestigious  IAAF Gold Label Marathon and one of only 5 in North America, the likes of Boston, Chicago and New York. The uniqueness of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is everyone from the recreational runner to the elite world class athlete enjoys the gold label delivery from start to finish of the various events under the leadership  of Alan Brookes and his team!”

Running Room’s internationally famous training clinics begin the week of June 19th at more than 40 store locations across Ontario, for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and the Half marathon. 5K training begins the week of August 14th. Visit the Running Room website for details on times, dates and store locations.

About 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. STWM.ca

About Running Room

Running Room is proudly a Canadian family-owned company. It originated in 1984 out of founder John Stanton’s wish to purchase quality running shoes from someone knowledgeable about the sport. New to the sport of running, John had a thirst for knowledge as well as a desire to buy the right product. This entrepreneurial retailer decided to fill a niche in the marketplace by opening a small one-room store in the renovated living room of an old house in Edmonton, hence the name, “Running Room.” The concept was highly successful, and the stores have since expanded to over 110 locations across Canada and the United States. Running Room is truly a store for runners by runners. All team members are runners whose philosophy is that if you’re out there running on the same roads as the customers, you can better relate to them. runningroom.com 

Media Contacts

Alan Brookes, Race Director, Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
alan@canadarunningseries.com, 416-464-7437

Liz Caine, National Events, Running Room
lcaine@runningroom.com, tel:780.439.3099 ext 246

New Balance Becomes Official Sponsor of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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TORONTO June 5, 2017 – Global athletic leader New Balance will become the official Athletic sponsor of the IAAF Gold Label Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, in a new multi-year agreement announced today. In addition to financial support, New Balance will greatly enhance the complete runner experience from the moment training programs begin at Running Room stores the week of June 19th. Complementing the official training programs will be community events featuring athlete appearances and the chance to test-drive New Balance shoes and gear, all the way up to race day on October 22nd. New Balance will bring exciting activation to the Race Weekend Expo, including their innovative high-performance apparel that will feature in the event’s Official Merchandise Program. New Balance will also bring a range of activation to the race day experience including support for the Pacer Program in both the marathon and half marathon.

“This is a perfect partnership between two, globally recognized, premier running brands,” said Canada Running Series president, Alan Brookes. “Our values are so strongly aligned, with a passion for both sport and community – and a proven commitment to Canadian road running at all levels. New Balance has always been a strong supporter of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, at the Expo, and through the participation of their top Team NB sponsored athletes like Olympians Eric Gillis and Reid Coolsaet, Rachel Hannah and Dayna Pidhoresky. We’re excited to take this natural partnership to the next level and bring further benefits to all our participants.”

Eric Gillis echoes these sentiments: “I’m very excited with the news that New Balance, my favourite athletic brand, is partnering with Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, which I’ve raced five times and where I’ve qualified for two Olympics. These two running obsessed brands will no doubt work magic together and take the STWM experience to another level. I proudly call this race my hometown marathon, and today, I’m feeling an even stronger connection to this wonderful event!”

“New Balance Canada is excited to partner with an iconic event like the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and connect with thousands of runners from all over the globe.  Our brand is synonymous with the sport and this partnership is a great step in helping us achieve our goal of being the World’s Best Running brand.  We look forward to working closely with the organizers and the Running Room to elevate the consumer experience and engage at all levels with athletes,” Jon Purdy, Sr. Marketing Manager, New Balance Canada.

New Balance is also the official shoe and apparel sponsor of New York Road Runners and the TCS New York City Marathon, the Virgin Money London Marathon, and the NN Marathon Rotterdam, as they continue to add strategic sponsorships in support of major marathons in leading cities worldwide.

Runners of all levels are encouraged to join in a very special Canadian running experience by registering for the 2017 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half Marathon or 5K at STWM.ca

 

About 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. STWM.ca

About New Balance

New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance is the only major company to make or assemble more than 4 million pairs of athletic footwear per year in the USA, which represents a limited portion of our US sales.  Where the domestic value is at least 70%, we label our shoes Made in the USA. New Balance owns five factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 5,000 associates around the globe, and in 2015 reported worldwide sales of $3.72 billion. To learn more about New Balance, please visit http://www.newbalance.com and for the latest press information please visit http://newbalance.newsmarket.com

Media Contacts

Alan Brookes, Race Director, Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
alan@canadarunningseries.com, 416-464-7437

Victoria Siemon, Marketing Associate – Running, New Balance
victoria.siemon@newbalance.com, 289-290-6063

 

Canadian Olympians Lanni Marchant and Reid Coolsaet reveal 2017 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon finisher medals

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The 2017 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K finisher medals were unveiled last Thursday night as more than 120 local runners led by the RunTOBeer crew and Canadian Olympians Reid Coolsaet and Lanni Marchant covered a mystery “reveal run” from Rorschach Brewery to the Leuty Lifeguard Station.

Built in 1920, the lifeguard station is an icon in The Beach neighbourhood and for Toronto’s waterfront. The medals – gold for the marathon; silver for the half; bronze for the 5K – were designed by Canada Running Series’ Inge Johnson. The design was based on a photograph by Beach artist and runner, Erwin Buck, taken one sunrise last September. “We’re thrilled to feature the Leuty Lifeguard Station on this year’s medal, and with the way the design has worked out,” said Race Director Alan Brookes. “Just like The Beach neighbourhood, its residents and businesses, the ‘Leuty’ is very special to us.”

Toronto is globally acclaimed as a waterfront city, a “city of neighbourhoods”, and The Beach is one of its finest. The Beach also comes at a critical point in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, between 30k and 35k, when runners can hit that legendary “wall”, only to have the great crowds in neighbourhood lift them and carry them to the finish.

This year’s medals are the 10th anniversary of the “Landmark Collectors’ Series”, all designed by Johnson, that has featured other famed Toronto icons such as Honest Ed’s, The Princes’ Gates at the Canadian Exhibition, and the Gooderham Flatiron Building.

The unveiling was done by Marchant and Coolsaet, who have been important parts of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon event. In 2013, Lanni ran 2:28:00 at the IAAF Gold Label race, to take out a 28-year old Women’s National Marathon Record. In 2011, Reid almost re-wrote Jerome Drayton’s 1975 Men’s Record, as he surged to take on the East Africans in The Beach section, before fading a little in the last 5k to come home 3rd (2:10:55) in a world-class field and book his ticket to the London Olympics.

The Olympians were joined in the ceremony by the artists/designer; Dr. Johanna Carlo and Jessica Wright, Director of the Beach Village Business Improvement Association and Paula Murphy of Pegasus, the neighbourhood charity for the race, who invited the world to run The Beach on October 22nd. On that day, some 26,000 runners of all abilities, from 70 countries are expected to earn one of these fabulous souvenir medals of the city and its marathon, and take them home around the globe.

For more information and entry: STWM.ca

Scotiabank Charity Challenge helps Charities take Giant Steps in Fundraising

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By: Amy Friel

When Giant Steps Toronto took to the streets more than ten years ago as part of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, the prospect of raising more than a million dollars towards their cause was little more than a pipe dream.

Founded in 1995, the York Region-based school and therapy centre offers an integrated program of academics along with speech, behavioural, and occupational therapies for elementary school students with autism. Amidst the hundreds of official charities who participate in the Charity Challenge each year, they’re a comparatively modest operation – but their more than ten years of participation in the event has had a decidedly significant impact.

“In the beginning, it was just kind of a group of parents of kids with autism,” recalls Joanne Scott-Jackson, the Director of Development for Giant Steps Toronto. “But we got really enthusiastic, and we raised $20,000 that first year.”

Since their Charity Challenge debut in 2004, Giant Steps Toronto has raised more than $1.1 million in funding for their programs. They’re the smallest charity by far to make it into the Charity Challenge’s “Million Dollar Fundraising Club”. For a local organization with limited resources, it’s a fundraising opportunity that could never have been possible without the marathon’s help.

“Events are kind of risky prospects for many charities, particularly small ones who have limited resources,” Scott-Jackson explains. “You have to have a lot of skill to pull these events together; they’re risky, they’re time-consuming, and they can be costly as well. So for a small charity like us to be able to piggyback onto such an established, world-renowned fundraising and athletic event, the opportunity is very unique.”

For more than 550 official charities who participate annually in six community road races across Canada, the Scotiabank Charity Challenge offers the opportunity for a large-scale fundraising event that’s both low-cost and low-risk, allowing organizations to invest their resources into fundraising rather than logistics. For Giant Steps Toronto, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon has become their largest annual fundraising event, accounting for about 20% of their yearly fundraising dollars.

And while impressive, their success story is far from unique.

“Since we launched the Scotiabank Charity Challenge in 2003, runners in six community races across the country have collectively raised more than $50 million for community charities,” says Kyle McNamara, Scotiabank’s Executive Vice-President, Global Retail Banking Technology.

To help charities maximize their dollars raised, Scotiabank covers the cost of transaction fees, and offers additional team awards and incentives, complete with cash prizes, to those participating in the Charity Challenge.

“Scotiabank believes in giving back to the communities where we live and work,” says McNamara, an avid runner himself. “The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is more than a great running event – through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, the race raises money for local charities that help to create a stronger future for young people and build vibrant communities.”

For Joanne Scott-Jackson, the event has become a true community celebration, drawing together a diverse collection of individuals who have a deep personal connection to her organization and its work.

“A lot of people who run or walk with us are parents of kids with autism, or family members, or friends, or staff,” she says. “A lot of them have very intimate connections with our charity, and very direct connections with the kids who are benefiting from our program.”

Ever the enthusiastic bunch, Giant Steps Toronto fielded a team of 139 participants in last year’s race – the charity with the largest amount of fundraising participants in the 2016 Charity Challenge, for which they were awarded an additional $6,000 towards their fundraising campaign. The award was the latest in what has become a strong tradition of excellence for the Giant Steps Toronto team, which has now taken home fundraising  prizes nine times over their twelve years participating.

For Race Director Alan Brookes, the Scotiabank Charity Challenge is a particular point of pride, one that embodies the spirit of Toronto’s marquee marathon weekend. At once a celebration of individual endeavour and community engagement, it allows athletes of all abilities to unite in support of the causes closest to their hearts.

“This is always an exciting time – the beginning of training and fundraising for Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and the Charity Challenge,” says Brookes. “We all share so many hopes and dreams. Very best wishes to everyone on our road to October 22nd. There, we will come together, with one goal: to make our community a better place, and celebrate your achievements. Let’s do this together!”

Runners interested in making their steps (both giant and otherwise) count this fall are invited to register for the race and sign up for the Scotiabank Charity Challenge: http://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/community-and-charity/scotiabank-charity-challenge/

Remembering Ed Whitlock. By Kate Van Buskirk

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By Kate Van Buskirk

I don’t remember when I first learned who Ed Whitlock was, but I do know that for most of my growing up he held almost mythical status in my mind. As a young runner, hearing my dad—an avid marathoner himself—talk about Ed with great reverence forged an image of part-man, part-wing-footed spirit, gliding tirelessly for hours each day along serene cemetery roads, breaking this monotonous habit only to go off and capture world records. My interactions with other members of the Canadian running community over the years have lead me to believe that I was not alone in this impression.

When I finally met Ed in person and heard him speak at the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) elite athlete press conference, my perception of the man only grew more complicated. First off, he arrived in a suit and tie to contrast starkly with the jeans and athletic gear donned by every other runner.

At first glance he appeared almost stoic, standing expressionless off to one side of the room, not seeming particularly comfortable or pleased with the media buzz. But if his initial appearance was somewhat severe, everything changed when he obligingly engaged with the journalists and race organizers, his face softening into a kind smile whenever someone approached him. He was soft-spoken and deliberate, answering questions openly and without a hint of self-importance. When asked about his preparation for the marathon last fall, he mentioned an injury that had set him back, saying that that it was very frustrating not to have been able to put in as many 3-hour training runs as he would have liked, but that he supposed “this sort of thing happens as you get older.” He said that last part with a chuckle.

This juxtaposition of a publicly venerated legend with an almost comically dry and understated persona seemed consistent with Ed’s approach to being a runner more generally. By all accounts, he was austere and disciplined in his training, often saying that he didn’t particularly enjoy the rigours of hard running but was rather compelled to regiment by the desire to draw the best out of himself come race day. But he also strongly downplayed, or even flat-out dismissed, any reference to heroism or inspiration. This, despite countless world masters and age group records, including perhaps his most newsworthy accomplishments: Ed was the first, and remains the only septuagenarian to run under 3 hours for the marathon. He did this three times. 2:59:10 at STWM 2003; 2:54:49 at STWM 2004; and 2:58:40 at Rotterdam 2005.

My role as social media lead for the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon included conducting post-race interviews for the live broadcast, granting me an all-access media pass to the finish line area. The top elites crossed the line to tremendous fanfare, cheered on my throngs of excited fans, media and agents. They conducted their interviews before being whisked away to Nathan Phillips Square for the awards presentation, the cameras and excitement following close behind.

With my on-camera responsibilities completed, I wandered back to the finish line to cheer on the masses and ride out the incredible energy of the morning. I approached the line just in time to hear the announcement that Ed Whitlock was less 1 kilometre away, and was on pace to annihilate the 85+ world record. Annihilate was a good word for it.

Ed bettered the previous record by over 30 minutes, dipping well under 4 hours in the process. Unlike the professional runners whose finish line experiences had been rife with pomp and ceremony, Ed sauntered into the chute accompanied by three fellow competitors (at least 40 years his junior) to the applause of a handful of dedicated fans. He stopped his watch, posed graciously for a few official photos, then asked if he could please have a cup of water. He demanded no attention, his signature grin acting as his only expression of celebration. But amongst those of us who were fortunate enough to bear witness to his feat, the atmosphere was palpable and the feeling was communal: deep respect. It is a memory that I am grateful for and will carry with me throughout my own running career.

Photo Credit: Kate Van Buskirk

Ed may not have seen himself as an inspiration, but he has been exactly that to me for as long as I’ve been a runner. His fortitude, his refusal to acknowledge age as a limiting factor, and his sheer love of running–whether based on compulsion or otherwise–all speak to me deeply and will continue to inspire me as long as I’m a runner (hopefully until I’m 86!)

A few moments later and with all signs of exertion eradicated, Ed spoke on camera with Canadian Running Magazine. He rested casually against the fence as if he were having an impromptu mid-day chat with a friend rather than having just completed a marathon faster than most people can dream of in their lifetimes. He spoke about having to be mentally tough and push through the hardest kilometres of the race when he wasn’t sure that he would be able to finish, something that runners of every level can relate to. And in my mind, that was the quiet heroism of Ed Whitlock: his humanity, his relateability, and his desire to be better at every age.

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Earns Third Consecutive IAAF Gold Label

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By: Paul Gains

For the third consecutive year, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon has been awarded an IAAF Gold Label, an accolade which solidifies its inclusion amongst the world’s most prestigious city marathons.

The news comes as no surprise to Eric Gillis. The three time Canadian Olympian, who finished 10th in the Rio Olympic marathon, has watched the event grow into a world class race from his position at the head of the field.

“If there are only five Gold Label marathons in North America and three of them are World Marathon Majors (Boston, Chicago and New York), known around the world, then Toronto is in pretty elite company,” Gillis declares. “I guess it shows how much work it takes to become a Gold Label.”

Gillis’ five fastest times have come in the Toronto Waterfront race – his personal best of 2:11:24 was recorded in 2014 –  and he treasures many personal memorable moments. One in particular stands out.

“Certainly qualifying for (the 2012 London Olympics) by one second in 2011,” he recalls. “Kevin Mackinnon was calling the race at the finish line that day and he got the crowd into it cheering and doing the countdown to my Olympic standard. That wouldn’t have happened in any other country.

“The IAAF Gold Label is good for Toronto, good for marathoning in Canada, good for elite marathoners. It is a fabulous option in the fall. The Gold Label is exciting and well deserved for (Race Director) Alan Brookes and his group.”

The 2017 edition is scheduled for Sunday October 22nd. With the IAAF Gold Label comes a level of respect amongst the world’s elite marathoners. Ethiopia’s Shure Demise chose Toronto on the recommendations of her countrymen and won the 2015 race nine months after setting an unofficial world ‘under 20’ best time in Dubai. Last year she returned to Toronto and successfully defended her title.

Demise, now an experienced 21 year old, notes that “in both years I have faced challenging weather and I had faced a difficulty of improving the (course record) time although the course is good and there were also good competitors.

“I should simply say ‘Wow.’ The organizers treated me in a very good way. All the people who were involved in the race they all were amazing and, if I get the chance, I would like to thank all the people who were at the Toronto Marathon. I have a plan to go Toronto (again) if things would be right for me and, of course, I want to be a three times winner.”

Stringent criteria must be met for a race organization to earn an IAAF Gold Label. For instance, the race must have a minimum of five men and five women from five different nations. They must have reached Gold Label standards of 2:10 and 2:28 respectively in the preceding 36 months or finished in the top 25 at the Olympics or World Championships marathons.

The certified course must be entirely closed to vehicular traffic and water and sponge stations set up, as per IAAF regulations, with electronic timing for all participants. A giant screen at the finish area for spectators and media to watch the race is another mandatory requirement.

After the race is over, a minimum of twelve anti-doping tests must be carried out (six men, six women) and media must have access to the leading athletes. One other major criterion is that the entire race must be available to a domestic and to an international audience of at least five countries, either through television or live streaming. Last year’s Toronto Waterfront Marathon was live streamed to 129 countries.

Internationally, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon has a stellar reputation. Here at home it is the flagship event in the seven race Canada Running Series and, for the third year running, it will double as the Canadian Marathon Championship. Athletics Canada’s CEO, Rob Guy, praises the event and has confidence in the organisation.

“The Gold Label means that it’s a great event,” he says. “And, for that reason we are proud to associate with the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. It is great that they are the host of our championships and the athletes have great competition and the opportunity to make some money.

“Our national championships are important to us and trying to our best to get our best athletes there is important. Moving forward, performances at national championships are going to weigh into selection for our teams.”

Race Director, Alan Brookes, speaks of the label as the ultimate reward for a great Canada Running Series team effort.

“It’s an enormous honour, enormous prestige to be recognized on the highest international stage. It puts our race, our city and our country in the ‘premier league’,” he declares. “When we started organizing road races in the mid 1980’s people used to tell me, “Alan, if you want a decent race you’ve got to go to The States. It used to drive me nuts.”

“That’s changed, and the Gold Label is recognition by the global governing body of our sport, that Toronto has a world-class marathon.”

Brookes is quick to acknowledge the involvement of title sponsor, Scotiabank, whose longevity sponsoring elite marathons is surpassed only by John Hancock in Boston.

“This will be the twenty-first year with Scotiabank,” says Brookes. “Their unwavering partnership has given us the support and stability to focus on building and growing the event.

“With their support we have been able to bring innovations to Canadian road running like the Scotiabank Charity Challenge and Scotiabank Neighbourhood Challenge, leading-edge race-organization technology as well as an international-class field.”

Brookes emphasizes that a Gold Label means it’s an outstanding marathon experience for runners of all abilities. For more information and entry see STWM.ca

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Scotiabank Neighbourhood Challenge Winners Announced!

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Toronto, ON. October 25, 2016– At the recent Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon held Sunday October 16th, 12 of Toronto’s top neighbourhoods and their charities battled it out to see who had the BEST cheering section. Known internationally for its vibrant neighbourhoods, Toronto’s waterfront came alive to welcome more than 25,000 runners from 68 countries, and to cheer them on in what for many is a life-achievement.

Now in its 13th year, the Neighbourhood Challenge is part of Scotiabank’s commitment to local communities. Together with the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, this year’s race will raise over $3 million for 182 local charities. Despite some early rain, this year’s neighbourhood cheering sites were some of the best ever, and the event judges undoubtedly had one of the toughest challenges of the day.  After careful consideration, we are pleased to announce this year’s winners!

stwm16ta_823First Place – St. Lawrence Neighbourhood for Jamii Esplanade.
NCE 12 – $6,000.00

cy_stwm16_b1602Second Place –  Riverdale/Woodbine Park for South Riverdale Community Health Centre.
NCE 10 – $3,000.00

stwm16ta_752Third Place – Greektown Eastern/Broadview for Greek Community of Toronto.
NCE 9 –  $2,000.00

stwm16ta_1462Honorable Mention 1 – Liberty Village/King West for West Neighbourhood House.
NCE 3 – $1,000.00

gh_stwm16-0160Honorable Mention 2 – The Beach for Pegasus Community Project for Adults with Special Needs.
NCE 11 – $1,000.00

Awards and prize cheques will be presented at the STWM awards night on November 28th at Scotiabank.

For further information contact:

Bonnie Taylor
tornadotaylor@icemice.ca
Cell: 647-401-0974
www.stwm.ca

Six Guinness World Records achieved at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon!

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October 24th, 2016 – By Amy Friel

In the days leading up to the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, it seemed as though everyone’s mind was on one matter: the weather.

Photo Credit: Photo Run

“Throughout the week I was pretty worried,” recalls marathoner Calum Neff, who had spent the better part of a summer preparing to run down a Guinness World Records title at STWM.

Despite the less-than-ideal conditions, including rain, wind, and high humidity, Neff — along with four-year-old daughter Aley — captured the title for fastest marathon while pushing a pram (stroller), finishing in a blistering time of 2:31:21 and bettering the existing mark by more than ten minutes.

“I just said, you know, anything can happen, but I trust that it’ll be okay,” he says. “It was a little bit rainy, but I decided I wasn’t gonna let the wind be a factor on the day, and decided to get after it.”

But while the combined 60-pound weight of stroller and passenger made headwind the decisive factor for Neff, fellow Guinness record-chaser Jen Wilson was far more concerned with precipitation.

“I was starting to get nervous,” she recalls. “They were calling for torrential rain, and there was no training for that.”

Wilson had her eye on the Guinness World Records women’s title for fastest half-marathon in a suit. But the threat of a downpour exposed what she worried might be a weakness in her preparation.

“I didn’t do any training runs in my suit in the rain because, I mean, who does that?”

Clad in dress pants, a blouse, vest, tie, and blazer, Wilson (along with a handful of fellow Guinness World Records contenders) cut a conspicuous figure in a start corral packed with the usual shorts-and-singlet set.

“Everyone was kind of staring on the morning of like, what is this person doing?” she says. “But in comparison to the girl in the motocross gear, I looked downright comfortable.”

After a rainy first 5K, Wilson and her many wet layers toughed out the remaining miles to clinch her first-ever Guinness World Records title in a time of 1:42:42.

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Photo Credit: Christine Cater/Canada Running Series

At the finish line, she was congratulated on her race by a Guinness official. A laughing Wilson recalls accepting her certificate, smiling for a photograph, and then immediately stripping off the many layers of her sopping wet suit, as fast as humanly possible.

“I’ve never been so happy to be wearing a sports bra in public,” she jokes.

But though the rain proved less-than-ideal for running in a suit and tie, one thing it did not seem to impact was the spectators who came out to cheer. For Toronto chef and record-chaser Daniel Janetos, it made all the difference in the world.

“Race day, I had an incredible experience, as far as all the people that came out,” he says. “Friends, family, my girlfriend — there was a ton of support.”

Janetos claimed the Guinness World Records title for fastest marathon dressed as a chef, finishing in a time of 3:56:21, and beating the existing record by a whopping ten minutes. His race doubled as a fundraising endeavour for the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation, ultimately raising about $5,000 for the charity.

“It kind of re-inspired me,” he says. “Just the way you can turn something little into a huge success.”

But whether struggling with a soaked suit and tie, pushing a stroller into a headwind, or lugging some cookware along for the ride (Janetos’ costume required that he carry a pot), the biggest challenge facing record-chasers remained the race itself.

“The pot wasn’t as bad as everyone might have thought — it was more just my legs,” Janetos recalls. “It was a really, really difficult last 10K.”

“It was a typical marathon, so it wasn’t easy by any means,” agrees Neff. “We really loved the Beaches, but that was a long uphill, and then you turn around and get the downhill right into the wind. That final 10K was the absolute toughest.”

Struggling over the final miles, Janetos was paced to the finish line by a friend and fellow runner from the Night Terrors Run Crew. That, along with the friends and family who made it out to cheer, carried him home to claim his Guinness World Records title.

“Without that support, I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it,” he says.

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Photo Credit: Todd Fraser/Canada Running Series

Along with fellow runners Bridget Burns, Robert Winckler, and Jasper Moester, a total of six new Guinness World Records titles were set at STWM 2016.

Despite worries about the wind and rain, Neff recalls a day that ultimately unfolded exactly to plan.

“I was having one of those magical days you always hope for in a race,” he says. “Everything was kind of perfect.”

Ed Whitlock Sets World Age 85 Marathon Record

By | Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon | No Comments

TORONTO – October 17th, 2016.  By Paul Gains

Ed Whitlock has made headlines once again for an outstanding road running performance.

The 85 year old from Milton, Ontario carries expectations into every race as he sets record after record and again did not disappoint his supporters at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Crossing the line in 3:56:38 he added the over 85 age class world record to the half marathon record he set this past spring.

“Have you seen the Globe and Mail?” he asks more out of astonishment than boastfulness. “They have a photograph of me on the front page of the sports section. Scotiabank and (race director) Alan (Brookes) will be well pleased.”

Whitlock laughs but admits the effort has taken its toll.

“I feel Ok. My legs are not the best,” he admits laughing. “They are very, very stiff but apart from that everything else is ok.

“I had got in sort of the bare minimum of appropriate training preparations and I had a couple of months of serious long distance training runs and I felt that was enough. Certainly, ideally, I would have liked six months instead of two months but I felt that was just enough to get by.”

Roughly one hundred yards from his house is a cemetery which he uses for training on a daily basis. The man who caught the road running world’s attention when he became the first man over 70 to beat three hours in the marathon – he ran 2:54:49 at age 73, also set on his hometown Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon course.” – still runs laps of the cemetery for hours on end.

He calls it ‘very fast walking’ with his customary humour. But as age tries to catch up with him and his future marathons will be nearer four hours, he knows he must do more.

“I actually got up to three and a half hours this time,” he says. “The thing is three hours doesn’t do it anymore. That’s the hell of it. I need four hours now. And it’s only going to get worse.”

Laughing again he turns serious when asked if he can further reduce the record in subsequent marathon races.

“I think 3:40 would have been possible if the weather had been perfect and if I had had six months training,” he declares. “I really think 3:40 would have been possible.”

Well-wishers surround him at every race and he is asked to appear at various events and dinners. In many ways he is a reluctant hero. Notoriety doesn’t suit him. Indeed, after the race last night his 56 year old son, Neil, himself a two time Boston marathon finisher, drove him home where he had a minor celebration with his wife, Brenda. They cooked dinner together then opened a bottle of Bordeaux, the race and the crowd of well-wishers now a fond memory.

“I don’t know how to respond to them. Well how do you respond to that?” he says laughing again. “I suppose it’s nice for people to say I inspire them but I am somewhat embarrassed and I don’t know what the appropriate response is to that.

“I don’t consider myself to be an inspiring person. I am not one to stand up on the stage and say ‘you all can do this.’”

Whitlock will gradually overcome this year’s marathon race and before long will be out on that cemetery road churning out the miles. There are more races to run and more records to chase. And if he inspires many to keep running as they age then that’s a good thing too.

Post-race interview by Canadian Running Magazine.