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Canada Running Series

Sasha Gollish and Jeremy Coughler take the Titles at Spring Run-Off  

By | Elite Athletes | No Comments

Celebrating its 46th edition, the Spring Run-Off has raised $28,500 for Parkdale Community Foodbank  

TORONTO, April 1, 2023 — A sold-out crowd of 3,500 celebrated Opening Day for running in Toronto at the 46th annual Spring Run Off this morning in High Park, the first event of Canada Running Series 2023. Participants were drawn from every Canadian province and 14 American states. Sunny skies and 12c degree temperatures created ideal conditions for challenging the famous hills of the city’s most scenic park.  

Defending men’s champion, Jeremy Coughler of London, ON, put in a surge after the first climb up Centre Road at 3km, then cruised to victory ahead of Rob Kanko  (24:19) of Dundas and Halifax, Nova Scotia’s Alex Neuffer  (24:31). Coughler’s time was a scant four seconds slower than his 2022 victory lap. Sasha Gollish (26:58) showed her strength in the women’s race with a convincing triumph, 22 seconds ahead of Team Canada teammate Erin Teschuk (27:20), showing us why she will be representing Canada at the World Mountain & Trail Championships in Innsbruck-Stubia in June. Laura Desjardins was a distant third (28:10).  

But there were so many more winners on a memorable morning. To continue the tradition since its inception in 1978, Piper Dave MacGonigal led racers to the start lines of the 8K, 5K and Kids Run. Ubuntu Community served up a delicious pancake breakfast with proceeds going to both them and the High Park Nature Centre. Madawaska Maple Products and Marquest Sunglasses handed out further prizes and the primary charity of the day – the Parkdale Community Foodbank — took home $28,500 to help them feed 6,000 needy families in the Downtown and West End every month. Fundraising is still open until April 30th, with the final total expected to go well beyond $30,000.  Additionally, this year’s race supported Trans Canada Trail ($440), Trees for Life ($970) and Canada Running Series Foundation ($2870), bringing the 2023 fundraising grand total to $33,870 already. 

Back for a 7th year, the popular Kill The Hill challenge up the infamous 600m incline on Spring Road to the Finish Line had a new twist with winners being crowned “Heroes of The Hill” in the men’s, women’s and non-binary categories. After racing up the gut-busting, timed, final 365m, Jessey The Elf claimed first in the men’s 8K conquering the hill in 1 minute 12 seconds, with Katie Anderson crowned Women’s Superhero in 1:32. Tanya Hauck placed first in the non-binary race with a time of 2:12. In the 5K, Toronto’s Brittany Moran was first woman in 1:33, with Brett McGonigal finishing first for the men in 1:13, and Noah Simpson-Freeman taking the non-binary category with a time of 2:00.  

Collectively, the running community gathered together to line the hills of High Park and cheer on the participants. The boundless energy of Kardia Athletica, High Park Rogue Runners, Frontrunners, Pride Run, Parkdale Roadrunners, Parkdale Food Bank and RunTOBeer pushed participants through to the finish line all morning to celebrate a resounding success. 

Top Women: 

  1. Sasha Gollish – 26:58  
  2. Erin Teschuk – 27:20  
  3. Laura Desjardins – 28:10  
  4. Courtney Brohart – 28:59  
  5. Becca Brennan – 29:18  

Top Men: 

  1. Jeremy Coughler – 23:51  
  2. Rob Kanko – 24:19  
  3. Alex Neuffer – 24:31  
  4. Ian Guiden – 24:38  
  5. Kyle Grieve – 24:46  

For listing of all Overall and Age Category winners in both 8K & 5K click here. For complete, individual, searchable results click here.

Alan’s 2022 Year End Recap

By | Alan's Journal | No Comments


We cannot say it enough. 

2022. What a year it’s been. A true marathon as we raced our way back to in-person events TOGETHER. Let’s be honest, at times it’s been a challenge, but it’s one we’ve met full on thanks to your resilience, passion, energy, and determination. You showed up this year and made it wonderfully successful in so many ways. Almost 50,000 of you showed up across our 10 events, most in-person with some virtual to keep us connected when we couldn’t get to the races. The energy has been electric and everyone at Canada Running Series is enormously grateful.

This year feels like it has been a wonderful combination of old and new. We’ve revelled in the moments together on the familiar hills of High Park, dashing down Vancouver’s Spanish Banks, revving our engines on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal and cruising the Toronto Waterfront. The old stomping grounds… TOGETHER AGAIN. The magic of those Starting lines, and the joy  mixed with exhilaration of crossing Finish lines. With friends, rivals, suppliers, our absolutely amazing volunteers and our 18 CRS team members. Thank you to our sponsor partners who kept us whole during the darkest days of the pandemic so we’d reach a bright new tomorrow.  

And in many ways, YOU, our community, have given us a re-energized, new beginning this year. Together we’ve made a renewed commitment to “building community through running”, our mission since the 1980s.   

With remarkable numbers you showed you cared for those in need. Through our Charity Challenges you contributed a magnificent $4,206,215. New partners in TCS, Asics, Garmin and Athletic Brewing joined old friends like Oasis, Running Room, Under Armour, and Nuun as we surged back on familiar roads and new directions. 

At every turn we embraced diversity and inclusion to build out the community:  

  • with the new Scarborough 5K built locally through the awesome leadership of Melanie @little3women,  Anoke @ahh.noke and Black Runners of the GTA. It was a race on home turf that also gave back to the Boys & Girls Club of East Scarborough & Native Child and Family Services of Toronto.;  
  • by partnering with the Running Physio and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital to help us better understand and champion Accessibility in not only this race, but all our races. 
  • In addition to continuing our work with Native Women Running, we collaborated with Rising Hearts and embraced the Running On Native Lands Initiative, to make land acknowledgements a common practice at CRS events, to further our respect and understanding in a united community. 

A determined commitment to sustainability emerged throughout the year, but especially with our new partner TCS who even developed a “sustainability footprint calculator” in the world-class race app for the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon. You pledged more than 700 trees to be planted along the marathon route by new charity partner Trees For Life, and supported the Trans Canada Trail. Your Finishers’ medals included the oak tree adopted as Toronto’s Official Tree in May and together we made it a priority to become the first marathon in Canada to achieve Evergreen status with the Council For Responsible Sport (still pending). 

2022 saw us put on our first-ever international race as we embraced a commitment to build community globally. The Rumbo a TCS Toronto Waterfront 10k en la CDMX, is a collaboration in México City with the amazing team at Emoción Deportiva, supported by Ambassador Graeme Clark and the Canadian Embassy in México, plus Alma Leal and TCS Latin America.  

From the titanic achievements at National Championships, to the heroics of everyday heroes and leaders you have given us SOOOOO MUCH to celebrate. Most of all we have been struck by the energy, passion and excitement you shared with us in 2022. This was no more evident than in our CRS Ambassador Program, the Building on Belief video features produced for us by Tenfold Productions and Quinton Jacobs, plus the return of BTGYYZ (Bridge The Gap) hosted by Mike Krupika and Parkdale Road Runners who brought some 400 runners from 40 crews in 8 countries to TCS Toronto Waterfront. This year’s Canadian-race-record 22 Cheer Sites on the course personified COMMUNITY.

All of this underscored the fact that we can’t build community through running on our own. You are the stars, the talent, the SHOW. AND WE ARE BACK. It took 50,000 of us TOGETHER to make it happen.   

You’ve left us breathless! But now it’s time to pause, catch our breath, rest and recover. 2023 is just over that next hill, brimming with challenges and accomplishments. But for this moment we pause to say THANK YOU. Together you make our community, our country our world a better place. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

Team I Will aims to raise $200,000 for Toronto Rehab Foundation at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

By | Scotiabank Charity Challenge, Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon | No Comments

In just a few short years, Toronto’s Robert MacDonald has built a large community around the mantra that kept him going when things got difficult. In December of 2012, MacDonald suffered major injuries — including a dislocated spine — after he lost his grip and fell three stories off a balcony in Mexico. Paralyzed, he was airlifted to St. Michael’s Hospital and doctors gave him a 5% chance of walking again.

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