Kenya’s Laban Korir To Defend Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Title. By Paul Gains

Laban-onCourseTORONTO August 13th 2015. Laban Korir will return to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 18th to defend his 2014 title and, if the conditions are right, to tackle the course record.

The 29 year old Kenyan surprised everyone, himself included, when he ran away from the field a year ago to claim victory in 2:08:15 under very chilly conditions. With a personal best of 2:06:05 from the 2011 Amsterdam Marathon, Korir is a quality marathon runner and an early favourite to win this year’s event.

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon has been awarded IAAF Gold Label status for 2015, an enormous honour for the race organizers.

“First I want thank the organizers for inviting me again to Toronto,” Korir said from his training base in Kaptagat, high up in the Rift Valley. “This year I’m there to defend.  At the moment I’m ok and the body is responding very well. If everything goes well, as it is at the moment, and the weather will be ok, not like last year, I will come for the course record.”

That record is Derissa Chimsa’s (Ethiopia) 2:07:05 from 2013. Race Director Alan Brookes is offering a course record bonus of C$35,000 for a new record as well as an additional C$5,000 for beating the Canadian All-Comers record of 2:06:54 which was set by Ethiopia’s Yemane Tsegay at the 2014 Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon.

Korir is part of the Global Sports Communications training camp in Kaptagat which includes fellow Kenyans Eliud Kipchoge, winner of the 2015 London and 2014 Chicago marathons, and Geoffrey Kamworor, the 2014 IAAF World Cross Country Champion. Another notable name in the group is Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich, the 2012 Olympic marathon champion.

Training up to 200 kilometres a week with this talented group has provided huge motivation for Korir to rise to the very top of elite marathoners.

“Eliud has inspired me a lot,” Korir admits. “He is my role model.  He used to teach us many things on how to succeed in life and also how to train. He is a legend, by the way. After training sessions we meet at the camp and have lunch or tea and discuss how the session went.

“My major goal in my career is to run (a marathon in) 2:05 Laban-finishHugand follow the footsteps of top guys in Kenya like Eliud and the rest,” he reveals.

Earlier this year Korir ran 2:07:54 to finish 6th in the Paris Marathon then, following a comfortable recovery period has begun his buildup for Toronto. He has fond memories of his visit last year.

“According to my manager and my coach, to stay longer in this career you need a good plan. Two marathons a year is ok for an athlete’s future,” Korir explains.

“I chose Toronto this year because I need to defend my title. I also like the fun people of Toronto, they are so cheerful. What I enjoyed last year was the course and also the cheering. What I still remember is the great finish and jumping into that guy at the finishing line.”

A representative of Toronto’s East African community handed the athletes national flags as they crossed the line and Korir leaped into his arms in a show of jubilation. Also at the finish line were members of the Kenyan High Commission who celebrated Korir’s victory. After the race Korir joined fellow Kenyans and Ethiopians at an Ethiopian restaurant for a post-race dinner which has become a tradition at the Toronto Waterfront race.

Like his compatriots Korir has used prize money from races – he earned $20,000 for the victory in Toronto last year – to buy land on which to grow produce for his family and to take to market. When he is not training or resting between sessions he enjoys time at home with his family.

“Life in Kenya is great,” Korir reveals. “After training I like resting and watching Nigerian movies like ‘2 Rats’. They are funny guys from Nigeria.

“I sell my products – maize and tea – to factories in Kenya. I sell some of it at the market and the rest is for my family. For now I have no other business. Maybe in the future after the running career I will.”

Race Director Alan Brookes has already announced that two time Canadian Olympian Eric Gillis who ran a personal best of 2:11:21 last year in Toronto, will return October 18th marking his fifth appearance at the race. In addition to the IAAF Gold Label status this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will serve as the Canadian Marathon Championship.

For More Information and to register: STWM.ca 

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ERIC GILLIS CHASING RIO 2016 BERTH AT SCOTIABANK TORONTO WATERFRONT MARATHON, by PAUL GAINS

It’s exactly one-year today to the 2016 Olympics, and it gives us enormous pleasure to announce that Eric Gillis has chosen to race Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2015, in his quest for a place on the Canadian team bound for Rio next summer. He will also start as the pre-race favourite to add the 2015 Athletics Canada National Marathon Championship crown to his many outstanding achievements. As Eric chatted with Paul Gains in the feature story below, there’s something very special about “Hometown Marathons.” And Eric is a VERY special part of STWM. Not only has he raced it 4 times, for his 4 best marathon times, he will forever be part of the event for his iconic finish to our 2011 race. With the large crowd joining announcer Kevin MacKinnon in counting down, “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 …” Eric sprinted to the Line, to cross in 2:11:28 — he had qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Marathon by ONE second. 42.195 kilometres of running, and you make your Olympic dream by one second! It’s such stuff as Olympic and Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon dreams are made of. Please Eric, make it by more than one second this year… not sure my old ticker can take it!

Enjoy Paul’s feature, and stay in touch with @EricGillis42_2k on Twitter and @ERICGILLISERICGILLIS on Instagram. #ShareTheJourney to STWM on our Social Hub by using the hashtag #STWM. #InItTogether  Alan (Brookes), Race Director

Alan

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ERIC GILLIS CHASING RIO 2016 BERTH AT SCOTIABANK TORONTO WATERFRONT MARATHON,  by PAUL GAINS

Eric's EPIC sprint to the Line at STWM 2011... "10, 9, 8, 7, 6..."

Eric’s EPIC sprint to the Line at STWM 2011… “10, 9, 8, 7, 6…”

TORONTO, August 5th. Eric Gillis has represented Canada at two successive Olympic Games and a berth on the team bound for Rio de Janeiro next summer is his next target.

Should he be successful it would make him unique amongst Canadian distance runners joining Kevin Sullivan, Leah Pells and Paul Williams as three time Canadian Olympians.

After careful consideration the 35 year old resident of Guelph, Ontario has decided to attack the Athletics Canada Rio qualifying standard of 2:12:50 at the 2015 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon this coming October 18th.

Gillis chose Toronto Waterfront even though he had an opportunity to join training partner, and fellow Canadian Olympian, Reid Coolsaet in running the acclaimed Berlin Marathon.

For a brief moment he had also entertained the idea of running the 2015 London Marathon this past spring – another World Marathon Major. But he and Dave Scott-Thomas, his coach at Speed River Track Club, agreed he should run ‘the marathon that makes me the most happy to train for!’

There were also hard practical factors. Gillis points to the fact he has run his four fastest marathons in Toronto including his personal best 2:11:21 which earned him 9th place in the 2014 edition of this IAAF Gold Label race.

A year earlier he ran 2:11:49 to finish 5th in the Toronto race and in 2011 his 2:11:28 fourth place performance earned him a spot on the London Olympic team. It’s no surprise that he has a soft spot for his ‘hometown marathon.’

“Yeah, my four fastest times all have been run in Toronto,” Gillis declares. “As much as knowing the course itself it’s also knowing the buildup, knowing what to expect during the buildup, knowing I will be close to home and traveling not far to Toronto, knowing that I will have my support team that will be there and knowing the race director as well as I do, because of the races I have run in the Canada Running Series and the confidence I have knowing there is support there. It all adds up to one big hometown advantage.”

First Canadian home at STWM 2014.

First Canadian home at STWM 2014.

A year ago he hopped on a bus from his hometown of Guelph, Ontario and arrived at the official race hotel a short time later. And, having raced here on four previous occasions there is the comfort of seeing familiar faces at every turn.

“The atmosphere in the city on Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon weekend is fabulous,” he declares. “One thing that’s great about doing the same marathon again is you get to know people; other participants, organizers, volunteers, and spectators.”

Gillis acknowledges that the Toronto course is not as flat as Berlin but he knows the turns and the gentle rises and where they are along the route. And since the marathon and half marathoners start at the same time there is another bonus.

“One of my favourite stretches to run in a race anywhere is when you have made the turn along the Lakeshore and it’s so thick with half marathoners,” he says. “Everyone still has a lot of energy and you can see how many are actually in the race and you make that turn along Lakeshore and you hear them as well. You can’t get that in many places. I really enjoy that.”

There is also comfort in knowing that race director Alan Brookes will ensure there is a world class field worthy of the IAAF Gold Label status which was bestowed upon the event last year. While the leaders will be chasing Derissa Chimsa’s 2013 course record of 2:07:05 – which comes with a $35,000 bonus – Gillis is once again holding his cards close to his chest when it comes to his time expectations.

tf_tys10k14_0074 (2)“At this point in the buildup, eleven weeks out, I’m not ruling anything out in terms of what I’m capable of finish wise in Toronto,” he offers. “A significant ‘PB’ run would be wonderful but there are lots of variables to navigate still.

“It’s hard to say what kind of support I would have received from London or Berlin. I didn’t bother asking as Toronto was my number one choice. I’m pretty confident I wouldn’t receive my own individual pacer (in those races). Last year Julius Kogo, paced me to 32km.”

Every year the Toronto Waterfront bonus for beating Jerome Drayton’s 1975 Canadian Record of 2:10:09 has increased by $1,000 and now stands at $40,000. Reid Coolsaet came closest with a 2:10:55 clocking at the 2011 event. But Gillis has never been one to make predictions. Nor is he one to chase dollars. Between his wife Emily’s nursing salary, his New Balance sponsorship, prize money from racing and speaking engagements the couple are comfortably raising their two children in Guelph.

So far 2015 has brought Gillis some fine results with victories at Toronto Yonge Street 10k, Banque Scotia 21K de Montreal, and the Canadian 10k title in Ottawa. He was 7th overall in that IAAF Gold Label race with a road PB of 28:58. He has run much faster on the track (28:07.19 in 2008 to qualify for his first Olympic team).

Now he hopes the good fortune continues with an Olympic qualifying standard on October 18th. Nobody would bet against him.

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For more Information and to register:
http://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/en/index.htm

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Are YOU up for a Guinness World Record at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon?

TORONTO July 16th 2015

Are YOU up for a Guinness World Record at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon? It’s everyone’s chance for marathon glory!

Guinness The Flash

Stephane “The Flash” Hetherington.

Fancy your chances as the world’s fastest marathon in a Superhero outfit? Or the fastest “joggling 3 objects”? What about in a baseball or lacrosse uniform? GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS is offering YOU a unique opportunity to become an official record holder on October 18th, at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. It’s another great reason to run a marathon, and glory awaits you!

It’s an opportunity to everyone who toes the Start line. “The wonderful thing about GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS is that they literally give everyone a chance to be a record holder,” says Race Director Alan Brookes. “I think we’ve built a reputation for record-setting and we’ve built quite a fondness for GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS along the way.”

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon’s record setting run began in 2004 when Beaches resident, Michal Kapral set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS achievement of  2:49:44 for the “Fastest Marathon While Pushing a Pram” with daughter Annika on board. Michal returned in 2005 to set a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for “joggling” – running 3:07:49 while juggling 3 balls the whole way! Instantly, a new sport was born and some great contests against Boston’s Zach Warren followed. Zach captured the record in Philadelphia in late 2005 and bettered it in 2006, before Michal reclaimed it on Toronto’s Waterfront in 2007 with a fabulous 2:50:12, which still stands today.

Since then, Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon has seen a wonderful assortment of GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS achievements. Jefferson the Dog set a mark for the “Fastest Marathon as a Mascot” [4:16] in 2010. Stephane Hetherington ran a very impressive 2:33:58 to set a new record for “Fastest Marathon in a Superhero Costume” in 2012. Maple Leafs fan Paul Statchuk has set truly Canadian records, first with the “Fastest Marathon in a full Hockey Kit (including stick)” in 2012 [4:08:43]; then with “Fastest Marathon in a Lacrosse Uniform” in 2013 [3:46:48].

Guinness Jeremiah

Jeremiah Sacay sets a new record for fastest marathon in a baseball uniform [3:47:45].

Last October, Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon runners set no less than FIVE new records, highlighted by Lindsay Santagato, Bridget Burns and Jeremiah Sacay. Lindsay ran the 42k in full firefighter uniform, including the 45lb oxygen tank and full bunker suit, to set a record of 5:38:51. She was inspired and driven the whole way by running in memory of her brother Ryan who died of acute liver failure in 2009 at just 20 years old; and Lindsay ran to raise funds for the Canadian Liver Foundation as well as the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title. Bridget represented High Park Zoo to clock 4:08:17 and the fastest marathon dressed as a Zookeeper. She broke the record while also carrying around a bag of stuffed animals to give out to spectators along the course! Jeremiah represented his favourite Toronto Blue Jays to set a new record in a baseball uniform [3:47:45].

In addition to solidifying your spot in GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS history, those attempting a new record will also be in the running for one of Scotiabank’s “Best Costume” Awards. Winners will take home cash prizes for their charities, as well as glory and lots of great media exposure!

“The marathon is just such a wonderful community festival,” says Brookes. “It’s about joy, achievement, and celebration. There is so much energy and excitement; and the record-setting runners, the costume and charity runners are a vital part of this. Fellow-runners and spectators alike love the atmosphere they bring. We hope to see lots of runners chasing a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title this year, and going the distance for their charities in fun costumes”.

If you’d like to be part of record-breaking history this year, please email press@guinnessworldrecords.com  and jenna@canadarunningseries.com no later than September 1, 2015.

Please note that GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS participants must be entered in the STWM event (REGISTER TODAY) before registering online at www.guinnessworldrecords.com

APPENDIX. Complete List of Current Guinness World Records for the Marathon [as of August 24, 2014]. Some records may be faster than time listed below. Stay tuned for updated list. 

Fastest marathon by a mascot – Male – 3 hr 51 min 50 sec; Female – 4 hr 02 min 56 sec
Fastest marathon in military desert uniform – Male – 3 hr 50 min 31 sec
Fastest marathon as an insect – Male — 3 hr 32 min 41 sec; Female – 3 hr 24 min 10 sec
Fastest marathon backwards on inline skates – Male — 1 hr 39 min 59 sec
Fastest marathon barefoot – Male – 2 hr 15 min 16.2 sec; Female – 2 hr 29 min 45 sec
Fastest marathon by a linked team – Male — 2 hr 55 min 24 sec
Fastest marathon by a marching band – 6 hr 56 min 48 sec
Fastest marathon carrying a 20-lb pack – Male – 3 hr 12 min 29 sec;
Female — 5 hr 07 min 56 sec
Fastest marathon carrying a 40-lb pack – Male — 3 hr 25 min 21 sec
Fastest marathon carrying a 60-lb pack – Male — 4 hr 39 min 9 sec
Fastest marathon carrying an 80-lb pack – Male — 5 hr 58 min 58 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a baby – Male — 2 hr 51 min 18 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a book character – Male — 2 hr 42 min 17 sec;
Female – 3 hr 39 min 49 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a bottle – Male – 3 hr 31 min 57 sec;
Female – 4 hr 54 min 36 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a boxer – Male — 3 hr 35 min 34 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a cartoon character – Male — 2 hr 46 min 40 sec;
Female — 3 hr 28 min 26 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a clown – Male — 2 hr 50 min 44 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a commercial brand character
Fastest marathon dressed as a cowboy – Male — 3 hr 09 min 09 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a crustacean – Male – 3 hr 55 min 13 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a dairy product – Male — 3 hr 09 min 58 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a doctor — Male – 2 hr 53 min 11 sec;
Female – 3 hr 54 min 06 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a fairy – Male — 2 hr 49 min 44 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a fruit – Male – 2 hr 58 min 20 sec;
Female – 4 hr 32 min 28 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a gingerbread man — Male — 3 hr 42 min 20 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a golfer – Male – 3 hr 10 min 4 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a jester – Male – 3 hr 1 min 56 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a jockey – Male – 3 hr 08 min 30 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a leprechaun – Male – 3 hr 09 min 40 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a lifeguard – Male — 3 hr 00 min 01 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a logo – Male — 3 hr 37 min 14 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a love heart – Male — 3 hr 28 min 21 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a monk – Male — 3 hr 29 min 32 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a Mr. Potato Head – Male – 3 hr 38 min 20 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a nun – Male — 3 hr 17 min 58 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a nut – Male – 4 hr 29 min 36 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a playing card — Female — 4 hr 23 min 57 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a postman – Male — 3 hr 47 min 35 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a Roman soldier – Male — 2 hr 57 min
Fastest marathon dressed as a sailor – Male — 2 hr 52 min 32 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a shoe – Female — 4 hr 40 min 56 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a star – Male — 4 hr 46 min 45 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a sumo wrestler – Male — 3 hr 51 min 54 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a tap/faucet – Male — 3 hr 52 min 09 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a telephone box – Male — 5 hr 54 min 52 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a television character — Male — 2 hr 49 min 51 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a toilet – Male — 2 hr 57 min 28 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a vegetable – Male — 2 hr 59 min 33 sec;
Female — 3 hr 47 min 15 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a videogame character – Male — 3 hr 29 min 41 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a Viking – Male — 3 hr 12 min 11 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a waiter – Male — 2 hr 47 min
Fastest marathon dressed as a zombie – Male — 3 hr 18 min 38 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as an astronaut – Male — 3 hr 08 min 45 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as an organ — Male — 3 hr 36 min 42 sec;
Female — 3 hr 52 min 02 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as Elvis – Male — 2 hr 42 min 52 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as Santa Claus – Male — 2 hr 55 min 50 sec;
Female — 3 hr 43 min 20 sec
Fastest marathon dressed in an ice hockey – Male — 4 hr 8 min 43 sec
Fastest marathon dribbling a basketball – Male — 3 hr 23 min 42 sec;
Female — 4 hr 28 min 11 sec
Fastest marathon dribbling a football – Male — 3 hr 29 min 55 sec
Fastest marathon dribbling two basketballs – Male — 4 hr 39 min 12 sec
Fastest marathon flipping a pancake – Male — 3 hr 2 min 27 sec
Fastest marathon in a bomb disposal suit Male — 6 hr 55 min 59 sec
Fastest marathon in a fireman’s uniform – Male — 4 hr 39 min 13 sec
Fastest marathon in a four-person costume — 6 hr 29 min 44 sec
Fastest marathon in a full-body animal costume – Male — 3 hr 31 min 36 sec
Fastest marathon in a lacrosse kit – Male — 3 hr 46 min 58 sec
Fastest marathon in a martial arts suit – Male — 3 hr 21 min 31 sec;
Female – 3 hr 30 min 14 sec
Fastest marathon in a military dress uniform – Male — 3 hr 47 min 14 sec
Fastest marathon in a nurse’s uniform — Male — 2 hr 48 min 24 sec;
Female — 3 hr 13 min 58 sec
Fastest marathon in a police uniform – Male — 3 hr 09 min 52 sec
Fastest marathon in a straitjacket – Male — 3 hr 49 min 48 sec
Fastest marathon in a suit – Male — 2 hr 58 min 03 sec
Fastest marathon in a two-person pantomime costume – Male — 4 hr 49 min 18 sec
Fastest marathon in a wedding dress – Male — 3 hr 00 min 54 sec;
Female — 3 hr 16 min 44 sec
Fastest marathon in an American football kit – Male — 3hr 45 min 30 sec
Fastest marathon in an animal – Male — 2 hr 48 min 29 sec;
Female – 3 hr 18 min 09 sec
Fastest marathon in cricket uniform – Male — 4 hr 16 min 21 sec
Fastest marathon in film character costume – Male — 2 hr 42 min 52 sec;
Female — 3 hr 53 min 40 sec
Fastest marathon in full military uniform – Male — 3 hr 49 min 21 sec;
Female — 4 hr 54 min 15 sec
Fastest marathon in school uniform – Male — 2 hr 50 min 17 sec;
Female — 3 hr 14 min 34 sec
Fastest marathon in scout uniform – Male — 3 hr 44 min 33 sec
Fastest marathon in superhero costume – Male — 2 hr 33 min 58 sec;
Female — 2 hr 48 min 51 sec
Fastest marathon on crutches – Male — 6 hr 24 min 48 sec
Fastest marathon on stilts — Male — 6 hr 50 min 02 sec
Fastest marathon pushing a pram – Male — 2 hr 42 min 21 sec;
Female — 3 hr 31 min 45 sec
Fastest marathon run dressed as a snowman – Male — 3 hr 47 min 39 sec
Fastest marathon running backwards – Male — 3 hr 43 min 39 sec
Fastest marathon running with an egg and spoon – Male — 3 hr 47 min
Fastest marathon skipping – Male — 4 hr 28 min 48 sec
Fastest marathon skipping without a rope – Male –5 hr 55 min 13 sec
Fastest marathon wearing a gas mask – Male — 3 hr 28 min 38 sec
Fastest marathon wearing a wetsuit – Male — 3 hr 25 min 00 sec
Fastest marathon wearing armour – Male — 6 hr 46 min 59 sec
Fastest marathon wearing chainmail (upper body) – Male — 5 hr 49 min 07 sec.
Fastest marathon wearing flip flops – Male — 3 hr 47 min 33 sec

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Runner Aiming For Triple Toronto Waterfront Marathon. By Paul Gains

Just before midnight on Saturday October 17 Jean Paul _NGE0247-B&WBedard – JP to his friends – will toe a the starting line outside Toronto’s University Avenue courthouse and run two circuits of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

If he has timed it just right he will have thirty to forty minutes rest before joining 18,000+ other runners – who will raise $4 million for local charities – as the official IAAF Gold Label Race begins. By the end of the day he will have run a triple Waterfront marathon – a whopping total of 126.6 kilometres!

The 49 year old has battled demons in the past including alcohol and drug addiction, suicide attempts and depression. He has overcome much but there is nothing crazy about this incredible physical challenge.

“The first thing in this is an awareness campaign,” Bedard says. “I am almost 50, I am a recovering alcoholic and addict, I have been sober for a little over 18 years. I spent a lot of time beating myself up with different substances kind of masking what was going on inside.

“About two months before the Boston marathon in 2013 I finally disclosed to my wife and adult son, who was 23 at the time, that I am the survivor of childhood sexual abuse and rape.”

Bedard ran a little over three hours for the Boston marathon that year – he has a personal best of 2:57 – and admits that he was an emotional wreck as he tried to come to terms with having shared his past. Midway through the race he broke down crying and hyperventilating. Nevertheless he completed the race. After showering and changing at the hotel he and his wife walked out onto the marathon course. That was when the terrorist bombs exploded.

The whole experience proved overwhelming and he reckons he was suffering Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. But with his family’s support he entered a treatment program at The Gatehouse which helped him and helps other adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The impact of the treatment was enormous.

“I got my life back,” he declares. “For such a long time _NGE0666running was a kind of escape, running away from myself, turning off my brain all that stuff but, through this program, I started looking at running as a way to kind of run back into myself and come to terms with all of these things in me. It became almost a spiritual practice.

“And I was so grateful to the program at Gatehouse, how much everyone there had helped me. I decided I would go back to Boston the following year and try to raise money for the Centre and, also, raise a little bit of awareness for childhood sexual abuse especially. There are very few male advocates out there. I got in touch with (retired NHL star and victim of sexual abuse) Theo Fleury and asked for help and he has been instrumental in helping me find resources.”

Returning to Boston in 2014 he decided he would do a ‘double marathon’ setting out from Boston in the reverse direction to meet up with the official entrants in time for the official start. The logistics were quite complicated. Security had been enhanced a year after the bombing but in the end he raised more than $25,000 for The Gatehouse.

The idea of doing a triple Toronto originated during a conversation he had with Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon race director Alan Brookes.

“I have an affinity to the Canada Running Series and to Alan,” Bedard explains. “I have run this marathon 10 times, this will be my 11th, 12th and 13th time running STWM. Alan is like the race ambassador. He is not in it for the cash he is in it for the love of the sport. He said ‘JP it’s great what you did in Boston but it’s going to be hard to outdo that.’ That was the genesis of the triple Toronto. I am not sure what happens next year!”

Bedard laughs as he relates this tale. Formerly a school teacher he is now a full time writer with a book coming out next Spring called ‘Running Into Yourself.” It deals with the subject of running to combat depression, anxiety and traumatic events. In a typical week he puts in roughly 200 kilometres. Thankfully he has a shoe sponsor as he goes through a pair of shoes every three to four weeks.

At this point he is still sorting through logistics for the Waterfront Marathon. His wife will likely accompany him in the car during the first two loops and he expects three or four ultramarathoners he’s enlisted will jump in and out at various points.

Bedard is not fundraising this time. He says you can only go to the well so often. Keeping the topic of rape and sexual abuse at the forefront is his aim especially since more than a dozen women have come forward accusing former CBC personality, Jian Ghomeshi, of assault.

“I have also been associating with these two twitter campaigns,” Bedard says, “one of those broke just after the Jian Ghomeshi scandal, the #BeenRapedNeverReported  campaign and also the (Kathleen) Wynne government’s #ItsNeverOkay.

“I was the victim of sexual abuse by a hockey coach when I was younger but I was also raped in a ravine by two men when I was 12 years old.  I have never told my story. So part of it is to run and keep this story front and centre. Leading up to the Jian Ghomeshi trial it’s important to keep it out there.”

Committed to marathon running, Bedard says he runs ten to twelve marathons a year mostly in the 3:10 – 3:15  range. For the triple Toronto he will scale back his pace to ensure he can cover this massive distance.

“I would like to target each of those first two marathons around 4 and a half hours, somewhere around that,” he declares. The time does not matter in any case.

“I think the three things I would like to accomplish _NGE0293are number one, keeping the conversation toward sexual violence in our community at the forefront, because I think we are at the turning point where we will see change in that dialogue. The second thing would be just to show the resiliency of being able to overcome the trauma and challenges in our life. I would like to show that despite the trauma I went through in my childhood, the addictions and depression and suicide attempts and all of that, I am still going.

“And I think the third element would be just to kind of show just how community building running is, and choosing the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon was the perfect vehicle for that. I think that is everything that race embodies.”

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To join JP on the Start Line, register for Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon at www.stwm.ca

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Krista DuChene to race Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on the road to Rio. By Paul Gains

It gives us ENORMOUS pleasure to announce that Krista DuChene will be on the start line at STWM — vying for overall as well as National Championship honours, chasing records, and moving inexorably towards an Olympic dream. In SO many ways Krista captures the spirit of the marathon, of what can be achieved by dedication, determination and great courage. As a marathoner, as a mom, as a nutritionist, as a Canadian hero, Krista is a great inspiration to all. Never give up! Never quit! Even against great odds. We’re thrilled she’ll be on that Start Line with us all on October 18th. 

Enjoy Paul’s feature, and stay in touch with @kristaduchene on Twitter and on Instagram. #ShareTheJourney to #STWM. #InItTogether  Alan (Brookes), Race Director

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TORONTO June 16th 2015. A little over a year has passed since Krista DuChene struggled across the finish line of the Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal with what would be diagnosed as a broken femur – a potentially career ending injury.

Yet, this 38 year old mother of three is now poised to represent Canada at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

On April 12th of this year DuChene finished 3rd at the Rotterdam Marathon with a time of 2:29:38 beating the Olympic standard by twelve seconds.

The miraculous comeback has afforded her the luxury of going into her next marathon, not having to chase standards, but to run the race the way she wants to. Accordingly, the Brantford, Ontario native has chosen to run the 2015 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 18th.

The event is the only IAAF Gold Label marathon in Canada and this year will also serve as the Athletics Canada National Championship Marathon.

“You know it’s an absolute wonderful feeling to have that standard so early in the qualifying period,” she declares, “and just to be able to sit back and reflect, and let it soak in, and make wise decisions moving forward, as opposed to panicking and thinking ‘oh what race am I going to do now to get the standard.’

“But, at the same time, I am not taking that for granted. Certainly we do have a couple of women who are making their mark and I have to watch out for them if they do run faster than my 2:29:38.”

Krista DuChene Blog 2DuChene is fully aware that she has beaten the odds, so to speak, being much nearer to 40 than most of her competitors and being able to recover from an extraordinary fracture. There surely were times where she wondered about her future as an elite marathon runner.

“You know it all comes down to my faith, everyday,” DuChene explains. “I knew it was part of a bigger plan. I had peace in the hospital. I had my share of crying. That was difficult but, not once did I have this fear or panic that something better wouldn’t come of it. I didn’t know what it would be.

“I said, the day after surgery, it would take two years to run my next marathon. Two days after surgery I knew I could do it in one year. I didn’t think I would get the standard on my first try; I was fully mentally prepared for three tries. I think that is why my recovery from Rotterdam was longer this time. Physically I was fine but emotionally, just understanding and reflecting on the significance of the previous year, was pretty hard to grasp. So I really needed to take the time to emotionally recover from it in a good year.”

The decision to run Toronto and forego an opportunity to represent Canada at either the Pan American Games or the World Championships in Beijing was a difficult one for the athlete and her coach, Rick Mannen. They consulted and reflected and ultimately decided that she should completely recover from Rotterdam and build up gradually for a fall marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon was a natural choice.

The Toronto race has been good to her. It was the scene of her assault on Sylvia Ruegger’s then 28 year old Canadian record of 2:28:36 in 2013. Though she did dip under the time with her 2:28:32 personal best she was beaten to the line by Lanni Marchant’s 2:28:00.  And, she doesn’t have to think long and hard for reasons to return to the event.

“There are numerous things I can say I love about the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon,” DuChene reveals. “Number one (race director) Alan Brookes and his amazing Canada Running Series team. I call it my home marathon because it is close in distance; I don’t need to travel. Family and friends are close, the crowd is fun. The comfort and the familiarity of the race, the international field, it’s our national championship and it’s an IAAF Gold Label event. That’s probably more than a half dozen reasons.

“There’s no pressure for me to hit a certain time. At the same time, I can maybe go for a faster time and be a bit more risky with that. I still tend to be an even paced, conservative, runner going out at a pace I think I can hold to the end. The nice thing after making the decision to not do a summer marathon I just kind of went right back to the bottom and I am going to slowly build a base and get my routine back, thin out the sweets a bit, increase the mileage and intensity in a really gradual way.”

Two of her three children are currently in school and the youngest, at 4, will start school next September which will give her a little more freedom. For the past several years she has risen at 5:00 a.m., even in the coldest winter months, to run before her husband Jonathan, leaves for work. Then she would often run on the treadmill at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre while her daughter was in childcare on site.

With the luxury of building up for Toronto ever so gradually DuChene could well be in a position to beat her personal best and challenge Marchant’s national record. The Rotterdam performance was inhibited somewhat by windy conditions and the lack of a pacemaker for the latter stages of the race. She’s proven she can beat the odds time and time again. Maybe a record is in the cards October 18th.

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For further information and to register to run with Krista, visit www.STWM.ca

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Toronto Duo Hoping to Earn Tickets to Rio, by Paul Gains

Canada sent three male marathoners to the 2012 Olympics and with the qualifying period for Rio 2016 having opened in January there is speculation that three men will toe the line in Rio next year.

Just who will wear the maple leaf, however, is the big question.

The standard of 2 hours 12 minutes 50 seconds will take some doing. Two members of the Newmarket Huskies have made the commitment to achieving it and to realising a dream of representing Canada at the highest level.

Matt Loiselle 2 ResizedMatt Loiselle and his training partner Sami Jibril will begin their buildup towards the 2015 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon next month. They both feel that Canada’s pre eminent marathon, which is the country’s only IAAF Gold Label marathon, is the venue to produce their lofty goal.

Loiselle has a best of 2:16:01 from the 2011 Toronto event. A professional coach when he’s not putting in the miles, he understands that this time is a far cry from the standard. Nevertheless, he believes it is possible.

“I think so,” he declares. “I have got up to about 30k at 2:12 pace. Both times that I ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon I got to 30k at 2:12 flat pace. That’s when the pacemaker dropped out.

“I know the things I need to work on now and I will talk to (Coach) Hugh (Cameron) about it and make some adjustments and compare to previous buildups. If you look at my best half marathon time, which is under 1:04, I think it’s doable. I just believe in myself and I believe we will get good training in. And, it will help having Sami there too. If I didn’t believe it was possible I wouldn’t be really going for it. It has always been the goal.”

The 30 year old has represented Canada twice before, most recently at the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon championships where he placed 55th in 1:04:59. He is fully aware that he and Jibril might well be fighting for one place.

Already Reid Coolsaet, a 2012 Olympian at this distance, has achieved the standard by running 2:11:24 in Rotterdam this past April. And Eric Gillis ran a personal best in Toronto last October with 2:11:21 albeit before the qualifying period.  Both he and Coolsaet are good bets to return to the Olympic race and, with only three to qualify, it leaves the Newmarket Huskies pair chasing one place.

“I totally expect that, actually,” Loiselle continues. “I think it will similar to what it was in 2012 probably under 2:12 (will be required). Look at Gillis. He is running as well as he ever has. Reid had a good one in Rotterdam.  And you can never really count Dylan (Wykes) out. Who knows who might be able to come out and surprise? I would be surprised if 2:12:50 did get you in actually.”

And this leads to the question what if he makes the team and Jibril is left behind? How would he feel about that?

“Yes, if I knocked him off the team it would hurt him and if he knocks me off the team it would hurt me,” he says laughing.  “It’s 42.2k and we have the same goal. Obviously if he makes the team and I didn’t I would be happy for him.”

“It’s kind of funny. I had a talk to a group of grade sixes yesterday. One guy asked me ‘Are all the guys you’re running against enemies?’ And I said ‘Well I guess when you start on the line you are enemies and then afterwards you respect each another and you can be friends. But we all have the same goals, we want to beat each other.’”

Jibril, now 25, first came to national attention when he Sami Jibril Resizedwon the 2013 Harry’s Spring Run Off in Toronto’s High Park. That victory surprised many. At the time he was more attuned to running on the track and used road racing to break up the routine of winter training. Since then he has become a consistent road racer. A year ago he took the silver medal at the Canadian Half Marathon Championships hanging on to Eric Gillis for most of the race. 

“That is a tactic that I do once in a while, ‘dying to success’ as Coach Hugh calls it,” Jibril reveals. “Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but in that race I had one option to run with Eric or separate early. I committed and it was a good run. I ran a huge personal best by 90 seconds. I definitely get good results off of that.”

“I think that was a perfect tactic. I don’t think I could have run faster if I didn’t go with Eric. The way he runs helped me out because he goes out so evenly paced, and conservative. He definitely helped me over 15 or 16k, however far we went together. It was obvious more than three quarters of the race.”

Born in Rome, Jibril is the son of Somali-Ethiopian parents who fled the strife in that region of East Africa.  He was a mediocre runner at Heart Lake Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario but under Hugh Cameron’s guidance has developed well these past three years. Loiselle speaks highly of their partnership.

“When I first met him he barely said a word,” Loiselle says with a laugh. “I thought he was pretty shy. So I had to gradually try to get him out of his shell.  Now he will actually come and hang out. We have a group of friends who will go out for a drink or for dinner and so we are starting to socialize more.”

“At least three times a week we train together. We do our intervals Tuesday and Friday and a long run on Sunday. Today I ran into him on our easy day – we run the same places. He is a great guy to train with.  No ‘BS’, we get along and we talk about anything really when we are running. I enjoy training with him.”

For his part Jibril points out that when he first began training with Loiselle he was working the graveyard shift at the Toronto Transit Commission as a mechanic and barely had any time to socialise. Now he works the 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. shift and has weekends off. The pair usually train at 7:00 a.m.

This year the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is also the official Athletics Canada National Championship Marathon so there is added incentive for the top Canadians to contest the race. Both Jibril and Loiselle hope they run fast enough to earn a place on the Rio bound Olympic team, for that would be a dream come true.

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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Awarded IAAF Gold Label, by Paul Gains

IAAF Competitions Director, Paul Hardy (right) presents Gold Label certificate to Race Director Alan Brookes.

IAAF Competitions Director, Paul Hardy (right) presents Gold Label certificate to Race Director Alan Brookes.

TORONTO. January 8th. Organisers of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon received a wonderful Christmas present with the news their event has been awarded IAAF Gold Label status – the sport governing body’s highest road race laurels – for the first time in its history.

The Toronto race is the sole Canadian marathon to achieve this level and only the fourth in all of The Americas to be so honoured. Boston, Chicago and New York, which are all part of the World Marathon Majors series, are the other Gold Label marathons in The Americas. That’s prestigious company, indeed.

The announcement was greeted with elation by the fifteen full time staff in the Canada Running Series office, who have worked tirelessly to improve upon the Silver Label the race has held for the past seven years. The marathon is the grand finale of the eight race series.

“We believe the awarding of an IAAF label signifies that the race is in a unique class of road races,” said Paul Hardy, IAAF Competitions Director. “It is recognition of being one of the best races in the world, in terms of both organisation and quality of athletes.

When Kenya's John Kelai ran 2:09:30 at STWM 2007 he recorded the first sub-2:10 ever in Canada outside a championships, and broke the 31 year old Canadian All-comers mark that had stood since the '76 Olympics!

When Kenya’s John Kelai ran 2:09:30 at STWM 2007 he recorded the first sub-2:10 ever in Canada outside a championships, and broke the 31 year old Canadian All-comers mark that had stood since the ’76 Olympics!

“There are many criteria which a race must meet in order to be granted an IAAF label. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon has proven that they are capable of meeting these criteria and have thus been awarded the highest level of road race recognition granted by the IAAF – an IAAF Gold Label.”

As the procedure would suggest it is not an easy task to meet qualification for Gold Label status. In order to do so the race must have a minimum of five men and five women from the very top of IAAF road race rankings and they must represent a minimum of five countries. In addition the race must adhere to stringent targets involving anti-doping, course measurement, fueling stations, road closures and media services as well as a requirement to broadcast the race around the world.

A year ago the STWM was the first marathon globally to Livestream the entire race on YouTube thanks to a groundbreaking partnership with Google. Respected international commentator, Tim Hutchings was brought in to anchor the coverage which was viewed by running fans in 110 countries. (see Highlights).

For Race Director Alan Brookes the Gold Label is the culmination of a career long dream. At the time he first became a race director many Canadian road race courses were inaccurately measured, few runners, apart from the leaders, received their finish times and support along the route was erratic. Over the years he set about harmonising race organisation to ensure quality races for runners of all abilities. Thereafter began the Canada Running Series.

When Eric Gillis & Reid Coolsaet both qualified for the London 2012 Olympics at STWM 2011, they became the first Canadians to earn the right to race an Olympic marathon since the year 2000.

When Eric Gillis & Reid Coolsaet both qualified for the London 2012 Olympics at STWM 2011, they became the first Canadians to earn the right to race an Olympic marathon since the year 2000.

“The Gold Label is the highest-level recognition for 30 years of hard work,” says Brookes pointing out that credit must be shared, “with the amazing volunteers, Toronto area running clubs and community, Athletics Canada, the City of Toronto, our charities and sponsors. We have an amazing title sponsor.”

Brookes singles out title sponsor Scotiabank which has been associated with the event for an unprecedented eighteen years.

“We’ve always had the goal of building top-quality, international road races in Toronto and across Canada,” Brookes admits. “When we started thirty years ago people used to tell us, “If you want a decent race you’ll have to go to the States.” It drove me nuts. And, I remember about 7 or 8 years ago, one of the major athletic brands telling us they weren’t interested in sponsorship, because ‘Toronto will never have a major marathon.’ So we had a fair bit of motivation.”

Lanni Marchant's 2:28:00 at STWM 2013 broke the 28-year-old Canadian Women's Marathon Record!

Lanni Marchant’s 2:28:00 at STWM 2013 broke the 28-year-old Canadian Women’s Marathon Record!

With pride the race management team point to 2014 when 27,000 runners took part in the race weekend, which also includes a 5km and a Half Marathon distance. Together they raised over $3.6 million for local charities. Brookes is especially pleased with the event’s association with local neighbourhoods, and leading running personalities over the years.

Canadian international runners Krista DuChene (2:28:32) and Lanni Marchant (2:28:00) broke the 28 year old Canadian women’s marathon record two years ago in Toronto while Canadian Olympians Reid Coolsaet and Eric Gillis have run their personal best times against the world class competition Brookes and his team bring in every year.

Brookes obviously has a soft spot for 83 year old Ed Whitlock who has become a celebrity within the world running community after setting two world age class records in Toronto. But it was seeing the Canadian All Comers’ men’s record lowered four times in the past seven years and the women’s All Comers’ record twice in the same period, that has helped the race deserve international attention.

STWM 2014 Men's Champion, Laban Moiben, was about as happy as Race Director Alan Brookes!

STWM 2014 Men’s Champion, Laban Korir, was about as happy as Race Director Alan Brookes!

The current Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon course records are held by Ethiopia’s Deressa Chimsa (2:07:05) and Koren Jelela Yal (2:22:43). The latter record remains the fastest time ever run on Canadian soil.

The 2015 edition of the race is scheduled for Sunday October 18th and will also serve as the Canadian National Championship for the first time. Buoyed by such wonderful news the management team can surely be expected to produce yet another world class race worthy of its new IAAF Gold Label status.

About the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
An IAAF Gold Label race, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada’s premier, big-city running event, and the Grand Finale of the 8-race 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 livestreamed globally on YouTube, attracting viewers from 115 countries. In 2015 it will host the Athletics Canada National Marathon Championships and the international Bridge The Gap movement. www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com.
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Give 2015 A Running Start

 

HSROT Running Cherry Blossoms

By Heather Gardner, founder Tribe Fitness.

With a new year comes opportunity for a fresh start and new fitness goals. For you that might mean finally lacing up those sneakers and experiencing for yourself what all this run buzz is about. To help you kick off 2015 on the right foot, here are my five tips every new runner should consider.

  1. Get Proper Shoes.

Wearing the correct running shoes for your feet is key for both comfort and injury prevention. Visit a running specialty store and chat with a professional about your foot type, gait, and style of running. Running in old or worn out shoes will only lead to pain and injury. With a variety of price points, consider this expense an investment in your health!

  1. Don’t Worry About Your Pace.

As a beginning runner consider your pace goal to maintain an easy or “conversational” pace for the duration of your run. You should be able to breathe easily and carry on a conversation with those you are running with. As a new runner you might also consider starting with a run/walk program, where you run for a certain amount of time, followed by a brief period of walking. This is a great way to get active while building your fitness level and endurance.

  1. Learn Proper Form.

While I often encourage new runners to move in a way that feels most natural to them, consider these points for a pain free upper body.

  • As your elbows pull back, keep your arms bent at 90 degrees with your hands at waist height, where they might brush your hips.
  • Keep your spine tall with your head up, your back straight, and shoulders away from your ears and level.
  1. Sign up for a Race.

One of the easiest ways for me to get motivated (besides tip #5) is to spend money and commit to a race. As a new runner, be sure to set a realistic length goal and give yourself enough time for proper and safe training. Once your race is on your calendar or in your phone, you’ll have something to motivate you on a daily basis. Wondering where to start? I suggest Harry’s Spring Run Off.

  1. Join a Tribe.

Company. Accountability. Speed. Fun. Toronto has an amazing number of run crews each adding something unique to our growing and evolving run scene. Check out the crew’s online presence – can you see yourself with them?, shop around giving each one a test run, and find a crew that works for you, where the runners have similar goals and the workouts fit into your busy schedule. Looking for a place to start? #JoinTheTribe

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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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