Mimi Belete battled it out with defending champion, Ethiopia’s Marta Megra, until the final kilometre of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on a cool October morning. Belete finally pulled away to win the race, breaking the course record and setting a personal best in a time of 2:22:28.”I wanted to run my best time,” she said after the race. Megra followed closely behind finishing second in 2:22:34, with Kenya’s Ruth Chebitok taking third in 2:23:28.
On the men’s side, amidst a stacked field, featuring two-time defending champion, Kenya’s Philemon Rono and Uganda’s Olympic and World Marathon Champion Stephen Kiprotich, Kenya’s Benson Kipruto emerged as this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon champion, winning in a time of 2:07:25. Finishing close behind was Tanzania’s Augustino Sulle in a time of 2:07:45 in second and Kenya’s Felix Kandie in third, running 2:08:29.
In fourth place was top Canadian finisher Cameron Levins of Black Creek, B.C., breaking the 43-year-old Canadian marathon record in his debut marathon, running a time of 2:09:22. Levins broke away from the chase group around the 30km mark, reeling in the lead runners. Two-time Olympian Reid Coolsaet fell back from the chase group, finishing as the second Canadian and 10th overall in a time of 2:17:36. Aaron Cooper was the third Canadian in 2:17:59.
On the women’s side, in her debut race, Kinsey Middleton emerged as the Canadian champion, running a time of 2:32:09. She and defending Canadian champion Leslie Sexton worked together for much of the race with Middleton pulling away with just over 10km left. Sexton finished second in 2:36:02, followed by Krista DuChene in 2:36:46.
In the half-marathon, with 11,607 participants running, American Will Norris took the lead early on and didn’t let it go. Crossing the finish line in a time of 1:05:30, Norris would fend off Canadian Chris Balestrini to capture the half-marathon title. Balestrini closely shadowed Norris throughout the race, and would finish in a time of 1:05:46. Rounding out the top three was Lee Wesselius in a time of 1:07:20.
On the women’s side, Allie Kieffer added to her 2018 Doha half-marathon title, winning the Toronto title with a time of 1:12:43, followed by Reneta Plis and Claire Sumner, who finished with times of 1:13:57 and 1:14:21, respectively.
Across all the races, the event saw 25,000 participants compete from approximately 70 countries, with almost 200 charities taking part. The event raised $3.5 million through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.