2014 SCOTIABANK TORONTO WATERFRONT MARATHON RAISES OVER $3.6 MILLION FOR COMMUNITY CHARITIES

TORONTO, Dec 10, 2014 – Through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge & Neighbourhood Challenges, over $3.6 million was raised in support of 173 local charities by the runners and supporters of this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. To celebrate their fundraising efforts, prizes were presented to charities at the Scotiabank Charity Challenge Awards Night in Toronto on December 9.

tf_STWM14_8093“Congratulations to all of the winners of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge Awards, from the charities who did incredible fundraising this year to the neighbourhoods who had incredibly enthusiastic cheering sections to our always entertaining costume runners!” said Race Director Alan Brookes. “You all contribute so much to the marathon and we appreciate your enthusiasm and dedication to helping give back to the community this year.”

This year, the charities raised $3,669,264. Since its inception in 2003, the Scotiabank Charity Challenge in Toronto has raised a grand total of more than 24 million dollars for local charities. At Scotiabank sponsored road races across the country, the Scotiabank Charity Challenge has raised over $38 million for community charities.

“We would like to thank everyone who cs_stwm14_0063decided to make their run even more meaningful by fundraising for the 2014 Scotiabank Charity Challenge,” said Claude Norfolk, Scotiabank Senior Vice President of Toronto Region. “The Scotiabank Charity Challenge is the heart of the marathon, raising much needed funds for charities which do valuable work in our community. We are proud to support the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and want to encourage runners to take part in the Charity Challenge in 2015!”

In addition to the total amount of dollars raised by participating charities, the Scotiabank Charity Challenge awarded first, second and third place cash prizes to participating charities in each of three categories totaling $33,000. Each category winner received $6,000 with the second place charity receiving $3,000 and $2,000 going to the third place charity.

The 2014 winners are:

Highest fundraising dollars raised:
1. SickKids Foundation – $173,347
2. Fragile X Research Foundation of Canada – $97,465
3. Epilepsy Toronto – $78,184
Most participating fundraisers:
1. Children’s Aid Foundation – 121 Runners
2. Fountain of Love and Life – 119 Runners
3. Giant Steps Toronto Inc. – 110 Runners
Highest fundraising dollars per fundraiser:
1. Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation – $13,340 / participant
2. Glaucoma Research Society of Canada – $3,053 / participant
3. Lymphoma Canada – $2382 / participant
The Scotiabank Neighbourhood Challenge was created in order for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon to have a sustainable, year-round impact on our local neighbourhoods, groups, charities and families. The Neighbourhood Challenge gives back to those communities that the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon course runs through. It’s a friendly competition amongst neighbourhoods to see who puts together the best cheering stations along the race route. Thousands of supporters gather along the length of the course to celebrate our different neighbourhoods.

During the awards ceremony, Scotiabank gave a total of $14,000 to the charities supported by the Neighbourhood Challenge winners.

The winners of the 2014 Scotiabank Neighbourhood Challenge are:
1. Greektown, whose charity was Hellenic Home for the Aged
2. Liberty Village, whose charity was Toronto Neighbourhood Centres
3. The Annex, whose charity was Varsity Blues
Honourable mentions went to St. Lawrence Market, Leslieville, and Alexandra Park.

For the fifth year in a row, Scotiabank also gave out five cash awards totaling $5,000 to each winner’s charity as part of the Best Dressed Costume Challenge at the marathon.

The winners of the 2014 Best Dressed Costume Challenge are:
1. Marathon Winner – Brett Titus as a man riding an ostrich
2. Marathon Runner Up – David Gadd and Andy Miller as Batman and Robin
3. Half-Marathon Winner – Gail McCauley as a Polar Bear
4. 5K Winner – Amin Lalji as Captain America
5. 5k Winner – Joseph Deogracias as the Genie

About the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
An IAAF Silver Label race, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada’s premier, national running event, and the Grand Finale of the 8-event Canada Running Series. In 2014 it attracted more than 26,000 participants from 60 countries, raised $3.67 million for 173 charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, and contributed an estimated $35 million to the local economy. In 2014, it also became the first marathon to be live-streamed globally on YouTube, attracting viewers from 115 countries. www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com.

About Scotiabank
Scotiabank is a leading financial services provider in over 55 countries and Canada’s most international bank. Through Bright Future, our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank and its employees support causes at a grassroots level across six pillars: health, education, social services, arts and culture, environment and sports. Recognized as a leader for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has contributed on average $50 million annually over the last five years to community causes around the world. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

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Gillis and Hannah Win 2014 Canada Running Series Titles, by Paul Gains

A hearty THANKS & CONGRATULATIONS to all of you who were part of a wonderful Canada Running Series 2014! From the 58,429 who ran or walked, to the 16 full-time CRS professional staff and more than 5,000 volunteers, to those of you who raised almost $6 million for our 315 Official Charities, to our 18 great sponsors who were a vital part of everything… YOU ROCKED CANADA!

Together, we certainly underscored our strong, shared commitment to “building community through running” – our CRS mission.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be making best-efforts to recognize and celebrate the achievements of all types of runners who came together this year to create some very special moments: competitive runners; healthy lifestyle runners; and charity runners and walkers. Today its the turn of the competitive runners as we salute ERIC GILLIS and RACHEL HANNAH, our fine CRS 2014 Overall Champions. Also, LIOUDMILA KORTCHAGUINA and PREDRAG MLADENOVIC our Masters (40+) Champions. Bravo Eric & Rachel, Lioudmila & Predrag for setting the pace, and showing us how its done! We’d also like to recognize the 261 other competitive runners who gained points by finishing in the top 10 places (Open & Masters) at one or more CRS 2014 races. Is YOUR name up there? Finally, a “chapeau” to all who won honours in their Age Categories in the Series.

Here Paul Gains’ lovely feature on our 2014 Champions… ENJOY!

Alan Brookes, Race Director.

ps. If you enjoyed CRS 2014, the CRS 2015 Calendar is now posted, and you can make the most of Early Bird pricing and Combo Pack savings for CRS 2015 by registering before the New Year.

_______________________

Gillis and Hannah Win 2014 Canada Running Series Titles, by Paul Gains

A hungry Eric Gillis was absolutely determined to be 2014 Toronto Yonge Street 10K  champion!

A hungry Eric Gillis was absolutely determined to be 2014 Toronto Yonge Street 10K champion!

After eight races in seven months, and with 58,429 participants, the 2014 Canada Running Series came to a climactic finish October 19th following its flagship event, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Eric Gillis ran a personal best time of 2:11:21 in the IAAF Silver Label race – good enough for an impressive 9th place – to earn him the CRS title for the first time in his career.

“It is the first time I have won it,” Gillis admitted. “I actually tied last year and Kip (Kangogo) got me on the tiebreaker. It does feel quite nice. I got the Oasis Zoo Run 10k (Canadian 10k championship) for the first time this year, the Toronto Yonge Street 10k for the first time, and now CRS for the first time.”

Gillis earns an additional $2,500 for being the Series Champion with 165 points, to go with the $12,800 he won in his 5 CRS races this year. He admits his performance at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon capped the best season of his career. Besides winning the national 10k title at the Oasis Zoo Run, the 34 year old also won two other CRS races – the Banque Scotia 21km de Montreal, which doubles as the Canadian Half Marathon championship, and the Toronto Yonge Street 10k. It was his third consecutive victory in Montreal.

Kip Kangogo, who celebrated his newly acquired Canadian citizenship in the spring, wound up second this time with 156 points and will collect $1,500. Toronto’s Sami Jibril was third earning $1,000.

The Canada Running Series is something special, Gillis concludes.

“This is different than an individual event in that it’s an indicator of consistency,” he declares. “I have never won it before but had good races in the past. So it’s nice to look back on 2014. I knew I had a consistent season; it felt like a consistent season and this is just one of these more concrete indicators.

“This is the icing. It’s a nice gesture, an extra bit of interest, that (Race Director) Alan Brookes put a bit of cash behind it and made it an interesting sidebar to Canadian distance athletes. I am lucky to have his support throughout the year.”

While Gillis had come close in the past, and has been a frequent participant in the series, the women’s overall title when to a relative newcomer to road racing.

Rachel all smiles after her National Half-marathon Championship triumph at Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal

Rachel all smiles after her National Half-marathon Championship triumph at Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal

Rachel Hannah beat Lanni Marchant with 165 points accumulated through victories at the Toronto Yonge Street 10k, the Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal and then the Oasis Zoo Run where she ran away from Marchant in the final kilometre.

Hannah, 28, who works as a clinical dietician full time and trains with the University of Toronto Track Club, was delighted to learn she was the overall winner. Already she has earmarked the $2,500 prize money to forward her promising career. It brings her total winnings at CRS 2014 to $10,000.

“It definitely helps advance my career because it’s the highest I have ever placed overall and it’s a good resume builder,” she said. “I actually was looking at a list of my achievements over the last year and that added to the list. It helps when you are looking for sponsorship and it adds credibility to your season.

“It’s fantastic. It really helps. Timing is perfect; it’s cross country season now and we are flying to Vancouver (for the national championships), so it helps with accommodation and flights. I will definitely be using the prize money towards that.”

Third place in the women’s category goes to Natasha LaBeaud of Kelowna, BC. She was the victor at the Vancouver East Side 10k and was a surprise 8th place finisher in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, one place behind Marchant.

In addition to the open category the Canada Running Series offers prize money incentives to the top Canadian masters too.

This year the women’s master’s prize was decided by a tie breaker – using head to head competition – leaving Lioudmila Kortchaguina as the 2014 CRS champion over Catherine Watkins. Both had scored 164 points but the former Canadian international marathoner beat her rival at both the Vancouver Eastside 10k and the Oasis Zoo Run 10k. Watkins outran Kortchaguina at the Toronto Yonge Street 10k.

The overall master’s winner receives $750 while second place is good for $500.

With victories at the Harry’s Spring Run Off in Toronto, the Toronto Yonge Street 10k, the Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal and the Oasis Zoo Run Toronto’s Predrag Mladenovic was an easy winner of the men’s master category.

The impact of the Series on Canadian distance running has been well versed by numerous athletes. Rachel Hannah in particular praised the series for providing top class races as well as prize money.

“It helps when you are looking at self-funded athletes,” Hannah explains. “Obviously I am not receiving (national) funding yet so it really does help to have the Series like this because it gives you added funding, and, it gives you a goal to reach towards, and helps supports the whole road racing scene in general. It’s extremely helpful.

“What Alan Brookes has done for road racing in Canada shows how much support and dedication he puts into it. And the funding coming back really helps keep me training, keeps me fueled and it gets me to races too.”

In addition to providing elite runners an opportunity to further their careers the Series raised almost $6 million in 2014 for over 300 charities in the Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver areas.

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Excellent Racing at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, by Paul Gains

Laban Korir all smiles with his surprise come-from-behind victory. Photo: Victor Sailer, Photo Run

Laban Korir all smiles with his surprise come-from-behind victory. Photo: Victor Sailer, Photo Run

TORONTO. October 19th. The times might have been slower than expected from the world class fields but the racing was spectacular today at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

The strong men’s field had targeted the course record – Derissa Chimsa’s 2:07:05 from a year ago – and at the half way point it appeared they were still committed despite the cold temperatures and blustery wind. But those conditions weren’t conducive to fast times. Instead the thousands lining the course and many thousands more watching live on youtube were treated to an excellent race.

Five men beat 2 hours 10 minutes with four under 2:09. The surprise champion was Kenya’s Laban Korir who went to the front with only three kilometres remaining to claim first place in 2:08:15. Tariku Jufar of Ethiopia finished second in 2:08:36 with Shami Abdulahi, one of two competitors who has beaten 2 hours 6 minutes in recent years, third in 2:08:39.

Laban Korir jumps for joy st the Finish! Photo: Canada Running Series

Laban Korir jumps for joy st the Finish! Photo: Canada Running Series

Two pacemakers took the leaders through halfway in a very quick 1:03:15. But the pace slowed as the course turned up hill along the Bayview extension. After they dropped out at 30k it was Kenya’s Peter Some who surged ahead. Only fellow Kenyan Patrick Terer was able to stay with him and it appeared the two would battle for victory.

But with only four kilometres remaining Korir and Jufar came into view and flew past the leaders. Korir would say later that he had experienced a pain in his calf and slowed for a few kilometres allowing it to recover. Over the final kilometre he ran away from Jufar to claim the $20,000 first place prize.

“I was not expecting to win the race I was targeting to be in the top three as I said at the press conference,” Korir said with a smile.

“At first the pace was ok. First we went through half way in 63 and I was thinking it would be a 2:06 winning time. My target was 2:06. I see my fellow (training) colleagues running so well like Emanuel Mutai (2nd in Berlin) and Eliud Kipchoge (Chicago winner) they ran good. They are the guys who train with me.”

“After 30k I felt something tender in my legs so I decided to set my own pace and that was ok. I was looking back I saw the Ethiopian guy was behind me. I was worried because I saw the guy (Jufar) who had won some races and I thought he might beat me.”

Mulu Seboka on her way to a second victory in Toronto. Photo: Canada Running Series

Mulu Seboka on her way to a second victory in Toronto. Photo: Canada Running Series

Mulu Seboka of Ethiopia, the 2008 Toronto winner, emerged victorious in the women’s race. In addition to the $20,000 prize money she was rewarded with a new personal best time of 2:23:15. Though she crossed the line with her trademark grin she collapsed shortly afterwards and was wheeled to the medical tent.

Through the latter part of the race it was her friend and compatriot Amane Gobena, the 2009 Toronto winner, who had offered the biggest challenge but she faded in the last five kilometres and eventually finished 4th.

Belarusian Aliaksandra Duliba, 6th in Boston 2:21:29 this year wound up 2nd in 2:24:43 with Rael Kiyara of Kenya third in 2:27:10

“I am so happy but the time? The weather was a problem and because of that I didn’t make a good time,” said Seboka, “But still it was ok.

“I am not sure, I didn’t see the official time, but I think this time today is my best. For sure if the weather is better I can get a good time. Everybody came here to win. When I took the lead I felt I was going to win.”

Duliba was not pleased with her own performance though her boyfriend Vitaliy Shafar of Ukraine would finish 5th in 2:09:53.

Lanni Marchant on course. Photo: Canada Running Series

Lanni Marchant on course. Photo: Canada Running Series

“I am not going to lie to you,” said the Belarusian. “I am very disappointed with the result But now, when I think about, it is a good lesson for me. I will run fast in another marathon. But I am going to use this as a good experience.”

Canadian women’s record holder Lanni Marchant went out very hard aiming to beat the record she set a year ago 2:28:00 but her calf cramped around 27 kilometres. The cold weather was to blame, she said. Still she finished a credible 7th in 2:31:06

“Our first 5km was definitely too quick,” she said. “We were well under the pace we talked about last night. I think everybody got a little bit excited. I tried to run off the back of my pacers and I still came through a little quick. But then we settled down and got into the rhythm of the pace.

“My left calf went at around 27 or 28km. Last year I had 37 k before my calf went so I had a lot longer this year that I was having to run with that calf. And that wind this year, I got cold. It wasn’t the perfect day I had last year. I knew that was a bit of a risk. I have no regrets.”

“I was looking at doing New York or Chicago but at the end of the day I thought I would come and race here. There were so many people who got up in the middle of the night to watch me run Glasgow (Commonwealth Games where she was 4th) and so I owed it to the people of Canada to come here.”

The other leading Canadian marathoner, two time Olympian Eric Gillis was on Canadian record pace through the first 25km but also succumbed to the cold. He was all smiles however, upon finishing 9th in a new personal best of 2:11:21.

Eric Gillis notched another strong, consistent performance and a PB. Photo: Canada Running Series

Eric Gillis notched another strong, consistent performance and a PB. Photo: Canada Running Series

“I thought I was capable of running 2:10:30 or 2:10 low in a best case scenario,” the resident of Guelph, Ontario revealed. “You rarely get best case scenario in the marathon but I will take this. I will take it. Mentally I felt like I stayed in it. My quads were so heavy the last six kilometres but that was what they could do.

“It wasn’t that big of a deal to be honest (falling off 2:10 pace). There was a small percentage chance I would get it. It wasn’t like the Olympic standard where I either get it or I don’t. This is a very good stepping stone for that. I am 34 and still running my best time, and enjoying it. Feels good.”

Marathon fans around the world watched the race live streamed on YouTube with former British Olympian, Tim Hutchings, Canadian marathon star, Krista DuChene and Michael Doyle (editor of Canadian Running magazine) providing commentary.

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Ones To Watch For, at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2014

While the Canada Running Series team takes great pride and effort to organize great running experiences for everyone — for ALL types and levels of runners, be they competitive, healthy-lifestyle of charity runners — there is always a special, major buzz provided to Race Weekend by the invited, pro athletes. They provide inspiration, information, and act as role models for our kids, our country, for us all.

So here is the low-down on the races up front this year at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. The “Ones To Watch For”! And there are SO many great stories and match-ups!

[click here for full Start List].

  • If 2010 was the year of our greatest-ever Women’s Race, will 2014 be our greatest-ever Men’s Race?
  • In the Men’s Race, who will win the thrilling head-to-head battle between Peter Some and Shami Abdulahi? Could Tariku Jufar or Laban Korir provide an upset?
  • Can our own [plus Antigonsh & Guelph's] Eric Gillis be the one to take down Jerome Drayton’s now-39-year-old National Men’s Marathon Record of 2:10:09 and claim the $39,000 bonus?
  • Can debut man Kelly Wiebe claim some “Fastest Canadian Marathon Debut” notches to his belt?                                                                                                                   Saskatchewan record – 2:19:39(Jason Warick)                                                                   Reid Coolsaet debut – 2:17:10
    Rob Watson debut – 2:16:17
    Dylan Wykes debut – 2:15:16
    Eric Gillis debut – 2:13:52
    Canadian debut record – 2:12:07 (Peter Fonseca)
  • On the Women’s side, how fast can Aliaksandra Duliba go? Or will the Ethiopian duo of Mulu Seboka and Amane Gobena who’ve both raced and won before in Toronto tag-team her to snatch away victory?
  • Lanni Marchant did it last year, taking down Silvia Ruegger’s 28 year old Women’s National Record with her amazing  2:28:00 race. Can she do it again?
  • Can the pride of Gibsons, BC race to a World Championship qualifying standard of sub 2:35:00; or a Pan Am Toronto 2015 qualifying standard of 2:40:00

Here’s the scoop! Who’s your money on?

INTERNATIONAL ATHLETES TO WATCH

Boston 2014. Photo: Victor Sailer, Photo Run

Boston 2014. Photo: Victor Sailer, Photo Run

Aliaksandra Duliba (Belarus)

Although she is Belarusian Duliba trains in Ukraine with her fiance Vitaliy Shafar (Ukraine) a 2:09:37 marathoner and her coach. She was 4th in the 2014 Boston Marathon in 2:21:29. A year ago she finished 4th in Chicago with a time of 2:23:44. This 26 year old firmly believes the Canadian All Comers’ and STWM course record of 2:22:43 can be beaten.

Mulu Seboka (Ethiopia)

The 30 year old says she is in shape to beat the Canadian All Comers’ record of 2:22:43. She has a personal best of 2:23:43 from the 2013 Daegu (Korea) marathon a race she returned to this year and won. Seboka has twice before raced in Toronto winning in 2008 then finishing second to her compatriot Amane Gobena the following year.

Mulu all smiles with her STWM 2008 victory.

Mulu all smiles with her STWM 2008 victory.

Amane Gobena (Ethiopia)

Gobena, now 28, was the winner of the 2009 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (2:28:30) edging Mulu Seboka. Finished 6th in 2014 Dubai (January 24) in 2:27:05. Her personal best is 2:23:50 from the 2013 Dubai Marathon where she finished 3rd – seven seconds behind Mulu Seboka.

Lanni Marchant (Canada)

The 30 year old Marchant admits to feeling pressure to lower the Canadian record of 2:28:00 she set at the 2013 STWM. Since then she finished 14th at the 2014 Boston Marathon and then placed a credible 4th at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. A practicing criminal lawyer, the London, Ontario native has been residing in Chattanooga, Tennessee ever since she graduated from the University of Tennesse.

 

Peter Some at 2013 Lisbon Half-marathon. Photo: Victor Sailer, PhotoRun.net

Peter Some at 2013 Lisbon Half-marathon. Photo: Victor Sailer, PhotoRun.net

Peter Some (Kenya)

Won the 2013 Paris Marathon in a personal best of 2:05:38 then went on to represent Kenya at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow. At just 24 years of age he has an exciting future at the marathon distance. In preparation for the 2014 STWM he raced and won the Route du Vin Half Marathon in Luxembourg, September 28.

Tariku Jufar (Ethiopia)

Jufar is a proven international competitor and when he is in form he is very hard to beat. He set a course record in Houston 2012 with 2:06:51 which is his personal best. Later the same year he won the Beijing Marathon. Won the 2013 Ottawa marathon in a then course record of 2:08:05 becoming the first Ethiopian to win the men’s race. Earlier this year (March 16) he finished 4th in the Seoul Marathon in a time of 2:07:02. Jufar is now 30 years old.

Shami Abdulahi (Ethiopia)

Came within a step of winning the 2011 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Since then the now 30 year old has developed into a consistent and strong world class runner with a personal best marathon time of 2:05:42 recorded at the 2012 Dubai Marathon. Amongst his training partners is Derissa Chimsa, the 2013 STWM winner and course record holder at 2:07:05.
Laban Korir (Kenya)

Korir has a best performance of 2:06:05 recorded at the 2011 Amsterdam marathon. Earlier this year he had a disappointing experience at the Dubai Marathon where he finished a well beaten 18th but then rebounded to finish 5th in Hamburg in 2:08:04. That was on May 4th. The 29 year old Kenyan is very experienced having finished 6th in the 2012 Boston Marathon and 11th in Chicago the same year. He is prepared to go with the leaders in Toronto.

Patrick Terer, at 2012 Turin Marathon. Photo: Victor Sailer, PhotoRun.net

Patrick Terer, at 2012 Turin Marathon. Photo: Victor Sailer, PhotoRun.net

Patrick Terer (Kenya)

Although he began his running career as a steeplechaser recording a personal best of 8:13.96 he has had great success since turning to the marathon. In May of this year he recorded a personal best of 2:08:07 to win the Prague Marathon. Still just 25 years old big things are expected of Terer.

Eric Gillis (Canada)

A 34 year old resident of Guelph, Ontario Gillis hails from Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Twice he has represented Canada at the Olympic Games. His personal best time of 2:11:28 was achieved in Toronto in 2011. A year ago he was 5th in Toronto with 2:11:49. He won three Canadian championship titles this year: 10km, marathon and half marathon. The only thing missing from his resume is the sub 2:10 time he ultimately covets.

 

CANADIAN ATHLETES TO WATCH

Lanni Marchant with an authoritative performance to win Scotiabank Vancouver Half-marathon 2014

Lanni Marchant with an authoritative performance to win Scotiabank Vancouver Half-marathon 2014

Lanni Marchant (London, Ontario)

The 30 year old Marchant admits to feeling pressure to lower the Canadian record of 2:28:00 she set at the 2013 STWM. Since then she finished 14th at the 2014 Boston Marathon and then placed a credible 4th at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. A practicing criminal lawyer, the London, Ontario native has been residing in Chattanooga, Tennessee ever since she graduated from the University of Tennessee.

Kim Doerksen (Gibsons, BC)

At 23 years of age Doerksen won the Vancouver Marathon in 2:36:59 in her ‘competitive’ marathon debut. Now she has her sights set on running faster and possibly achieving the Pan Am Games and world championships qualifying standards.

 

Eric Gillis in his famous, all-out sprint to the STWM Finish line in 2011, that earned him a place at the London Olympics by ONE second

Eric Gillis in his famous, all-out sprint to the STWM Finish line in 2011, that earned him a place at the London Olympics by ONE second

Eric Gillis (Antigonish, Nova Scotia)

A 34 year old resident of Guelph, Ontario Gillis hails from Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Twice he has represented Canada at the Olympic Games. His personal best time of 2:11:28 was achieved in Toronto in 2011. A year ago he was 5th in Toronto with 2:11:49. He won three Canadian championship titles this year: 10km, marathon and half marathon. The only thing missing from his resume is the sub 2:10 time he ultimately covets.

Rob Watson (London, Ontario)

With a personal best of 2:13:29 from last year’s STWM Watson has legitimate marathoning credentials and represented Canada at the 2013 IAAF World Championships at this distance. The 31 year old graduate of Colorado State University raced four marathons last year including an 11th place finish in Boston, the world championships and Toronto. Most recently the Vancouver resident paced American Shalane Flanagan through 41km at the Berlin Marathon. Unpredictable and daring, Watson could still pb at STWM.

Kip Kangogo (Lethbridge, Alberta)

No stranger to the Canadian road race scene, the Kenyan born Kip Kangogo comes to Toronto intent on beating his own personal best time of 2:15:13, a time he achieved at the 2013 Victorian Marathon. Kangogo finished 2nd to Eric Gillis at the Oasis Zoo Run 10k, which doubled as the 2014 Canadian 10k championship. He celebrated another important event earlier this year when he was granted Canadian citizenship. The 35 year old and his wife are proud parents of one year old daughter Emma.

Kelly Wiebe (Swift Current, Saskatchewan)

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon marks this 25 year old’s marathon debut. Has trained in Vancouver the past eighteen months with 2012 Olympian Dylan Wykes and Rob Watson. Overcame a dangerous blood infection this past spring to prepare for this marathon. Twice he has represented Canada at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Won the Vancouver Eastside 10k in 29:20 in preparation for the marathon.

For a complete START LIST click here >>

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42 Marathon Tips For First-Timers. By Kenny Yum

TORONTO October 9th 2014. By day, Digital Champion Kenny Yum is the managing editor at The Huffington Post Canada. On his off hours, he’s a run blogger at A Whole Lot Of Soles, which has been documenting his marathoning since 2006. He’s run 27 marathons and is running in his 10th straight year at STWM with an aim to get even faster, recently qualifying for Boston as a member of the Black Toe running team. Connect with Kenny on Twitter @Yumke and on his blog.

STWM Starting Line Shot for Blog
42 Marathon Tips For First-Timers. By Kenny Yum.

Next weekend I’m running my 28th marathon at STWM, my 102nd road race. WHAT THE HECK?!

Recently, I talked a runner through his first marathon, and realized there’s a lot of pro tips I wish I knew… So, no fancy narrative, no GIFs, just this random list of thoughts. Here we go:

  1. Friday night sleep is best for a Sunday marathon. You won’t sleep that well the night before
  2. If you have a fuelling plan, mark it on your pace band. So you won’t forget.
  3. Yes, you can get a pace band that shows you your splits, that way you can track to see if you’re hitting milestones (ie: 5K) faster or slower than your goal.
  4. Us old timers use running pace calculators like the one here.
  5. Guys, cover your nipples. Trust me, 3-5 hours of chafing can HURT. Bandaids will suffice.
  6. If you’re wondering how many gels to take during a marathon, then go for anywhere from 3 – 6. But make sure you’re fuelling early.
  7. Yes there are portapotties on the course. And yes, if you’re a guy, you can improvise on the course. Just make sure you stop.
  8. If you’re wearing a new pair of shoes on marathon day, then abort that plan.
  9. Pin your bib to your race shirt the night before. I can’t tell you how many times I see people, shivering, trying at the race start.
  10. By the way, shivering at the start isn’t a bad idea. You’re dressing to run, not to stand outside.
  11. Garbage bags with holes poked out for your head and arms are appropriate wind/rain gear
  12. Perfectly acceptable to wear warmup clothes to toss away.
  13. Not acceptable to toss them at another runner – bundle it into a ball before throwing.
  14. Point at volunteers who are handing out water. That way, they know you’re about to take the cup. Squeeze the cup to create a spout, then tip your head as you take sips.
  15. Thank the volunteers.
  16. Take those gels, if you can, right before you hit a water station, so you can wash them down.
  17. It’s fine to draft after runners to pace, but if you do so, also take the lead at times.
  18. NOT fine to run on one’s heels, give them space – and don’t be all random about moving side to side.
  19. If you’re about to take a walk break, don’t come to an abrupt stop – at the very least, pull to the side and put up your hand.
  20. Smile and/or wave at any camera pointed in your direction.
  21. Marathon plan 1: First half should feel easy, next 10K should feel like you’re working and the rest tests your training.
  22. Follow a pace bunny at your peril. Know your splits and know when to back the pace down. Remember, they are always faster runners who may not know your pace.
  23. Double knot your laces.
  24. Hydrate well two days and the day before the race. Make sure you are getting electrolytes.
  25. If you fall victim to cramps, salt intake isn’t a bad thing. Think soups, pretzels. Just straight water may not be a good idea.
  26. Also, fibre the day before isn’t the greatest idea. Think of your GI issues.
  27. Eat your breakfast 3-4 hours before the race. It can be as much as a bagel with peanut butter and a banana for an hour before. Some do oatmeal or cereal. Do what works, but get the calories in.
  28. You will probably need to pee on race morning. A lot. This is normal. Nerves.
  29. Charge your Garmin/GPS watch the day before. In fact, keep the darned thing plugged in overnight.
  30. Have a goal time. Seriously.
  31. If you don’t have one, maybe use a race predictor, put in another race time.
  32. Yes you can listen to music during your race. I’m not a fan, but I get it. Just KEEP THE VOLUME DOWN when you’re running.
  33. Get to the race an hour before the start time.
  34. If you don’t have to pee, and you’re at a race early, go line up at a portapotty. Trust me, by the time you get to the front, you’ll have to go.
  35. BodyGlide. In any place you think you’ll need it.
  36. Do not wear the race shirt during the race. If you have to ask, then… just don’t ask. Don’t wear it.
  37. Do not answer your phone while running the marathon. Even if you really wanted to say to the person on the other line that “I’m running a marathon.” Everyone around you will want to punch you.
  38. Race étiquette: look before you spit, or throw away the cup, or decide to weave. Just don’t be annoying.
  39. Marathon plan 2: Run with your head, then your heart, and within your own ability.
  40. If you are delirious, still NEVER forget to take that gel, Gatorade in the late miles.
  41. Bonking happens, walking happens, accept that you are running a long time.
  42. And if this is your first, you will now remember that you have to always point out to everyone that it’s not JUST 42K, it’s… 42 POINT 2 Kilometres… Now you can call yourself a marathoner.
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Ethiopia’s Tariku Jufar Returns To Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, by Paul Gains

Tariku en route to victory at Ottawa Marathon 2013. Photo: Victor Sailer, PhotoRun.net

Tariku en route to victory at Ottawa Marathon 2013. Photo: Victor Sailer, PhotoRun.net

With the addition of Ethiopia’s Tariku Jufar to the 2014 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon organisers proudly point to the fact four men in the field have beaten 2 hours 7 minutes in the past three years. Two of them have also beaten 2:06.

The event, slated for October 19th, is once again an IAAF Silver Label race and, at this rate, it won’t be long before gold level status is acquired.

Jufar set a course record in the 2012 Houston Marathon with a personal best time of 2:06:51. Along with Kenya’s Peter Some (2:05:38) and Laban Korir (2:06:05) as well as fellow Ethiopian Shami Abdulahi (2:05:42), Jufar will focus on attacking the Canadian All Comers’ record of 2:06:55 and the course record of 2:07:05 set a year ago.

“Of course! If I break the course record I hope it will be as the winner,” the 30 year old says laughing. “I plan to run to my shape and if God allows me that day to beat the field and win then I will be happy.”

Jufar has won several major marathons during his accomplished marathon career. Just last year he became the first Ethiopian male to win the Ottawa marathon setting a then course record of 2:08:05. He also won the 2012 Beijing Marathon. Most recently he finished 4th in the 2014 Seoul Marathon March 16th in a time of 2:07:02. Consistent training with an outstanding group of athletes at high altitude has obviously contributed to this success.

Photo: Victor Sailer, PhotoRun.net

Photo: Victor Sailer, PhotoRun.net

“I train under Coach Haji Adillo of ESMI (Elite Sports Management International) in Ethiopia,” he explains. “I train with some very strong athletes like Lelisa Desisa (2:04:45 pb), Tadese Tola (2:04:49 pb), Feyisa Lilesa (2:04:52 pb) and Endeshaw Negesse (2:04:52 pb). They push all of us and make us all stronger. I feel very good coming into this year’s race.”

Like many of the elite Ethiopian marathoners Jufar benefits from daily training at high altitude sites just outside Addis. Indeed, the training is all done at roughly 8,000 feet above sea level with the training group numbering around eighty athletes. The discipline runs through the entire group and, at any given time, dozens from the ESMI group can be overseas at many of the world class marathons.

“We arrive for training at 7:00 a.m. and train and recover and stretch until 10:00 a.m.,” Jufar reveals, “then I eat and rest. In my free time I like to visit with friends and enjoy tea with my family.”

“I come from Debre Zeyit which is known in Oromo as Bishoftu. It is known for the crater lakes there, it is a beautiful region. My family are farmers. Some of them are still living in Bishoftu. Farming and running have been my life.”

Finishing STWM 2008.

Finishing STWM 2008.

Jufar, of course, remembers a previous visit to Toronto in 2008 and not so fondly. He struggled to a 13th place finish in 2:18:47 on that day. Obviously he has put that disappointment behind him with pragmatic thinking.

“Honestly, I have been in the marathon for some years now and I learned that it is a very unpredictable event,” he says of that day. “Sometimes it’s just is not your day and the race gets away from you and you cannot control it. A 2:18 was not anything I ever expected from myself.

“But Toronto is a beautiful city and has very nice people. The water (along Lake Ontario) was nice too! “

A year after his last visit Jufar was hit by a car while training in Addis. It was thought he would not run again. However, he proved the skeptics wrong with a series of meaningful results beginning with a remarkable time of 2:09:32 in Los Angeles. That was good enough for second place. Considering he had missed out on training most of the year he showed his immense talent.

The Toronto course has been slightly altered this year – a series of twists and turns that were added out of necessity due to downtown construction projects last year – have been removed. The course is thought to be even faster. Jufar knows he will have a tough time against the assembled field. But with a commitment from all of them and the right conditions the course record could fall. He’d like nothing more than to cross the line first with that record.

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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2014 goes For Green!

STWM Green Certification PhotoTORONTO October 2nd 2014. While 26,000 participants will be running for the fabulous gold, silver or bronze-bling Finishers’ medals on October 19th, the Canada Running Series organizing team will be racing hard for “Green”! Following the successful example of their Scotiabank Vancouver Half-marathon, they will be going all out for “Green Certification” from the Council For Responsible Sport.

The mission statement of the Canada Running Series is “Building Community Through Running”, and according to Senior Operations Manager, David Gilchrist, “everyone on the  Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront team is strongly committed to building a sustainable, healthy community. That starts with our events! We recognize that every choice we make comes with the opportunity to benefit our friends, neighbours, and our city.”

The 2014 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) organizers — that include 16 full-time, professional Staff, some 500 Area Managers and over 3,000 volunteers — will be working closely with Oregon’s Council for Responsible Sport’s to implement their standards for Green Certification. Some of these standards include, but are not limited to:

  • minimizing carbon and water footprints through rigorous conservation and mitigation efforts,
  • choosing transportation options that minimize fuel consumption,which includes offering free Bike Valet Parking on Race Day
  • removing barriers to participation,
  • planning for low levels of waste production and a high rate of waste diversion,
  • and contracting with locally-owned businesses whenever possible.

Race Director, Alan Brookes emphasizes that,

“as an organization, we are pumped to set an example at the 2014 Toronto Waterfront Marathon by reducing our overall environmental footprint, ensuring participant accessibility, and supporting the local economy. We are really proud of what our team achieved in Vancouver, and are committed to raising the bar for Toronto running events also. Running has become a more and more important part of the city-building process, and should be both responsible and relevant. EVERYONE on October 19th is invited to join the programme!” 

About the Council for Responsible Sport:

Our vision is a world where responsibly produced sports events are the norm. Our mission is to provide objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing, and to actively support event organizers who strive to make a difference in their communities. The current version of the Council’s Certification standards (v.4.1) was developed by an outside working group of both sustainability and sport industry experts, reviewed by a wide range of stakeholders throughout 2013 and implemented in January 2014.
Website: http://www.councilforresponsiblesport.org/

About Canada Running Series and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon:

 The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5K is part of the prestigious, 8-event Canada Running Series. The Series prides itself on organizing great races that benefit communities, and on being the industry leader in innovation for Canada. In 2013 the Series attracted almost 60,000 participants and raised more than $5.5 million for 280 mostly-local charities.

Registration is now open at http://RunCRS.ca

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The Run Is Enough: The Sophomore Slump. By Jodi Lewchuk

TORONTO October 5th 2014. Digital Champion Jodi Lewchuk took up running after a long hiatus to exercise her energetic dog, Tilda, and her passion for the sport was rekindled as she connected with the running community and discovered what a positive impact being a physically fit and mentally tough runner had on her overall well-being. She believes running is a key that helps people unlock their true potential. You’ll often find Jodi and Tilda fording streams, vaulting logs and following winding paths as they run Toronto’s extensive and beautiful trail system, which is Jodi’s favourite place to train. Running makes Jodi happy, keeps her sane, and allows her to believe that anything is possible. Connect with Jodi on Twitter @jodilewchuk and on her blog. 

The Run Is Enough: The Sophomore Slump. By Jodi Lewchuk

It’s the phrase I’ve taken to calling what has JOdi and Tildabeen the second half of my 2014 training and racing season.

After a 2013 season that saw me hit and surpass every running goal I set for myself and taught me that my physical and mental toughness on the trail and road make me that way in the rest of my life, too, 2014 kicked off just as I expected it would: with two huge early-season personal bests at Around the Bay and the Toronto Younge Street 10K.

And then everything fell apart.

It’s hard for me to even put my finger on what, exactly, went wrong. But at some point in early summer I noticed that my training times started to flag. I would feel as if I was running with a good effort and be surprised when I’d glance at my watch to find myself 5 to 10 seconds off pace. Then my mental steeliness started to show wear and tear. I consider myself a stubborn runner. I’d rather drag myself over a tough stretch rather than walk. If I give in to the walk, it makes it too easy for me to give up the next time — I need to know that no matter what I can dig deep and keep going. Except that I found myself pulling off to the side of the trail to bend over and rest my hands on my knees every time I ran 15K or more. I’d look towards the direction from which I’d come, wondering what was going wrong.

I started to feel tense when it came time to lace up. Normally one to bolt out of bed in the morning to head out and run with my dog, Tilda, I’d find things to procrastinate with first. Normally my Sunday long run is my favourite workout of the week. I love being out on the trails for hours, listening to my footfalls, hearing the sounds of my breath, feeling my body working to carry me over kilometre after kilometre. And yet there I was, already worrying about the Sunday long run by the time Thursday rolled around. Would I be able to do it without walking? Would the season turn around before race day at the Soctiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon? Would I be slower than I was last year? Would I be better off dropping out?

That last thought was the one that sobered me. It was the first time I had ever considered pulling out of a race. And I realized how silly I was being. It’s true that I wasn’t having the best training season, but I wasn’t injured. I was out there running, healthy. I was in a slump, sure, but so what? One of the other lessons that running has taught me is that nothing lasts — neither the elation nor the pain. You live each of those feelings as they come on a run and prepare yourself for the inevitable change in momentum. If I hung in long enough, something would change.

Jodi Running ShoeSo I kept running. For at least three weeks I ran without my GPS watch. I just went out and laid down kilometers on the trails while watching the clouds traversing summer’s blue skies and the grasses in the valley growing up ever taller and the tree canopy getting thicker and more lush. And I realized that even if I never raced again, I wouldn’t stop running. I would run trails every day simply because I love to run.

That realization marked the turning point.

One day not long after that I ran a tempo run that actually felt quick. I did a hill workout in which it felt like I was in charge of my legs and not the other way around. I started to look forward to, and enjoy, longer distances again. It took an act of letting go to get everything in hand again.

I’m still not where I’d anticipated being training-wise for 2014. I may not take 10 minutes off my marathon time from last year as I had originally wanted to at the start of the season. But I’ve completed the tough, key workouts that I’ve needed to. I’ve met even more wonderful people in the running community and have benefited from their encouragement and support. I’ve remembered why I run in the first place.

Sometimes you don’t do the training run you planned, you do the training run you can manage at the time. Sometimes you don’t run the race you want, you run the race you have in you that day. Sometimes you don’t get the season you’d hoped for, you simplyget a season.

And sometimes you realize that none of it matters, because the run itself is enough.

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Mulu Seboka Has Canadian All Comers’ Record in Sight, by Paul Gains

Mulu all smiles with her STWM 2008 victory.

Mulu all smiles with her STWM 2008 victory.

Mulu Seboka has one thing in mind when she lines up for the 2014 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, October 19th, and that is to beat the women’s course record of 2:22:43.

That record was set in 2010 by Kenya’s Sharon Cherop and is also the fastest time ever run by a woman on Canadian soil.

If the Ethiopian, who celebrated her 30th birthday last week, is successful she will earn at least a $35,000 bonus in addition to the first place prize of $20,000. That, of course, is wonderful motivation.

“I have full confidence,” she declares, “if there is a good pace maker and good weather I will run the course record. My training is going very well. My condition is very good now. I am training with my husband Yohanes Nigatu Bekele and I am training in all the places (around Addis Ababa) Sendafa, Sululta, Ararat and Entoto.

“I have trained well and I hope I will do my best to make the organizers of the race and the good people of Toronto happy.”

Those are words that will almost certainly endear her to the organizers of this IAAF Silver Label race, who would like nothing more than to see both men’s and women’s records fall. With a personal best of 2:23:43 recorded at the 2013 Daegu Marathon the record is certainly in the realm of possibility.

Most recently she returned to Daegu and won the race in 2:25:23 (April 9th) This followed a surprising but very tough Dubai Marathon win (January 24th) in 2:25:01. Her margin of victory there was just twenty-two seconds, which in marathoning is too close for comfort.

But, she won’t have an easy time of it in Toronto. On paper, at least, the favourite has to be Aliaksandr Duliba, the Belarusian star, who has a personal best of 2:21:29 from the 2014 Boston Marathon. She was also 4th in Chicago a year ago (2:23:44). However, Seboka has one advantage over Duliba, and the rest of the field: she has twice before run the race through the streets of Canada’s largest city.

As a 24 year old she won the 2008 edition of this IAAF Silver Label race in 2:29:06 then finished second a year later to her compatriot, Amane Gobena.

Mulu in flight at STWM 2008 Finish. She returns as a faster, more-experienced athlete to recapture the feeling!

Mulu in flight at STWM 2008 Finish. She returns as a faster, more-experienced athlete to recapture the feeling!

“I remember there is very good support from the people along the full course so I really like the Toronto marathon,” she recalls from her previous visits. “I went to Dukem Restaurant after the race.”

The latter comment is in reference to what has become a post-race excursion for the Ethiopian community at this traditional Ethiopian restaurant, a place where legend Miruts Yifter, the 1980 Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion, is a frequent visitor.

Seboka comes from a region called Shoa Oromia, an area known for its fertile farmlands and where half of Ethiopia’s coffee is produced. Many of Ethiopia’s greatest runners also originated from Oromia but it was one athlete in particular who sparked Seboka’s interest in running.

“I was inspired by my sister-in-law, Alemitu Bekele, who is now a Belgian citizen. She was training in my home town when I was a child,” she explains. “She brought me to Addis in 2002. I go home once a month to Shoa Oromia.”

Her sister-in-law is not to be confused with the runner of the same name who is currently suspended for doping violations while running for Turkey.

Like many of her compatriots Seboka does not concern herself too much with the competition she will face on October 19th. When she is informed that fellow Ethiopian Mestawet Tufa and Duliba are co-favourites she appears nonplussed.

“I never raced with them and I know only Mestawet Tufa,” Seboka says. “She is really talented and a good athlete. I hope we will push the pace together as she is also a front runner.”

Unafraid to lead, Seboka will likely enjoy the benefits of early pacemaking which the Toronto marathon organizers have set up to encourage both the men and women to fast times. Then it will be her vast experience that will propel her onward chasing the record. Not surprisingly she has other long term goals.

“I want to represent Ethiopia in the 2015 world championships in Beijing and at the Olympics in Rio,” she declares.

It has been a few years since she last wore the Ethiopian national vest but with her current resume surely her goals are not too remote.

A victory against a strong Toronto field would help draw attention back in the offices of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation. A course record would further reinforce her ambition putting her amongst the highest echelon of women’s marathoners.

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Kim Doerksen Soccer Player Turned Marathon Star to Race Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, by Paul Gains

Kim finishing strong at recent Oasis ZooRun, National 10k Championships 2014

Kim finishing strong at recent Oasis ZooRun, National 10k Championships 2014

After she underwent surgery on an injured knee Kim Doerksen gave up her promising soccer career. A serendipitous moment, certainly, because she has since become one of the brightest prospects on the Canadian marathon scene.

This past spring the 23 year old from Gibsons, British Columbia – a small town on the province’s Sunshine Coast – won the Vancouver Marathon in a stunning debut time of 2:36:59.

Considering Canada’s top female marathoner, Lanni Marchant, ran 2:49:14 in her debut it’s no wonder organizers of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon are excited that she will compete in their IAAF Silver Label race on October 19th.

“I grew up in a family in which my dad played soccer and everything like that,” she reveals. “So I went to university to play soccer. I had a complete anterior cruciate ligament replacement and so when I started to play again I was still tentative going into tackles. I was a central defender so, going into tackles, I couldn’t exactly be hesitant.

“There’s a half marathon on the sunshine coast where I am from and my parents were ‘oh you should try running and see how it goes.” I went into the 2009 race. I was 18 and I won my age group and it was kind of ‘oh, that was kind of fun.’ So I joined a track club in Abbotsford, and ran cross country and made the BC team. But I didn’t go to nationals because I went to my uncle’s wedding instead.”

At 2014 Scotiabank Vancouver Half-marathon in June

At 2014 Scotiabank Vancouver Half-marathon in June

Demonstrating the exuberance characteristic of her young age Doerksen is approaching the Toronto race with confidence and a great deal of optimism.

“(Vancouver) was a great big surprise to me,” she admits. “We had gone into it not really putting out a time goal, because it was my first one and we didn’t want to have a negative impact and unnecessary stress. The way training had gone, in our minds, we were thinking I could do a sub 2:40. How far under we didn’t know. I would have been happy with a 2:40.

“Immediately afterwards I was thinking ‘what’s the next one going to be?’ But the first thing you think after finishing a marathon is ‘I am never going to do that again.’ Then once you catch your breath you are plotting which marathon you are going to do next. I was thinking if I can do a 2:37 in my first one, and, I keep getting stronger and smarter with the distance, then the world is your oyster and who knows what can happen – as long as you stay injury free.”

The ‘we’ she speaks of includes her coach John Hill, of the Vancouver Falcons Athletic Club, a former Vancouver marathon winner. It is an association that began in May 2013. While many of her contemporaries save the marathon distance, perhaps for a few years in the future, she has dived in at quite an early age. It’s quite possible she can have a decade of running the distance and that is a sumptuous prospect.

Although she played soccer at the University of Fraser Valley she is currently a kinesiology student at Simon Fraser University. Her earnings for winning the Vancouver Marathon, and being the first Canadian, were put to good use, she confirms with a laugh.

“It was a lot of months of rent that I didn’t have to worry about,” Doerksen says. “It was $3500 or $4000 I can’t really remember. It went towards school and rent.”

Together with coach Hill she opted for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon after looking at the race results from previous years and talking with some of her club mates. “Flat and fast” was the way she heard the course described over and over again.

Kim Doerksen IMG_1811“I would love to ‘PB’ – the main goal is always to better yourself. But knowing the different standards for Pan Ams and worlds, that goes into the back of your head,” she admits. “In all honesty, I want to keep making my running resume look much better. Anything below a 2:36:59 would be fantastic.”

Although studying, training and the required recovery time fill up most of her day she still finds time to maintain her favourite passions. One is watching movies. In fact, her pre-race ritual includes viewing ‘Run Fatboy Run’ the Simon Pegg comedy. It’s about a man’s desperate attempt to win over the fiance he ditched on their wedding day by running the London Marathon. But then there’s another more time consuming activity she practices too.

“I love cooking!” she declares. “That’s probably my biggest thing. I cook a lot. Especially in any down time in school, I procrastinate. I bake instead of stretching.”

Doerksen laughs at that revelation which seems to unwind memories of when she lived on the Simon Fraser University campus. Apparently she is known for one of her specialties.

“I think I do a lot of desserts more,” she explains. “When I lived up at SFU I would get asked to make pies but I think that was because nobody else could make them.

“My mom made them all the time. I grew up in a household where there was fresh baking all the time, all the treats that go along with that, it’s a comfort. So when I am stressed out, or missing home, I bake just because it reminds me of home. I think that’s probably a big reason as well.”

Topping her list of favourites is mum’s peach pie, which is on her ‘to do’ list, once the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is completed. Abstinence meanwhile is the best practice. Sacrificing unwanted calories is an element of her marathon preparation.

Doerksen certainly has a bright marathon future yet she maintains her youthful innocence. Google images of her and up pops her racing in a tutu at a local Sunshine Coast race. And she has also run in the Vancouver ‘underwear’ run.

“It’s a 10k race in Vancouver it was actually one of the first races I did last year after finding out I was anaemic,” she explains. “It’s a 10k around the seawall, everybody runs in their underwear. It’s to help fundraise for cancers below the waist I was recruited to my cousin’s team. We all did fundraising and everything like that.”

Doerksen will line up against a stellar women’s field in Toronto which includes Aliaksandra Duliba of the Ukraine, Ethiopia’s Mestawet Tufa and Mulu Seboka as well as Canadian record holder Lanni Marchant. With no pressure on her amongst such stalwarts she can afford to run her own race and chase that personal best performance she covets. In the back of her mind will be the Athletics Canada standards for the Pan Am Games (2:40:00) and the World Championships (2:35:00).

“My biggest goal personally is I want to run with Canada across my chest one day,” she announces. “I don’t know what event that will be in whether it’s the Commonwealth Games, or Pan Ams or worlds, or the ‘O’ word (Olympics) always goes into every athlete’s mind. I want to wear that Canadian jersey so badly that I don’t care what event it is in.”

No doubt that day is rapidly approaching.

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