TORONTO. October 9th. For the last six years, the International Team Challenge at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon has provided a great “developmental opportunity” for up and coming athletes to gain valuable international experience in a major, international marathon. As an IAAF Silver Label Race, Toronto Waterfront has built a reputation for its flat, fast course, that offers good competition and fast times, that help athlete career development. This year will be no exception, as Team England will arive on Thursday to take on Team Canada.
The teams consist of consist of 2 men and 2 women. Finishing times for all 4 athletes will be scored using the Mercier scoring tables for comparative performances, and the points for the best THREE performances on each team will count for final standings for the Scotiabank International Team Challenge.
This year, Team England will bring a squad of 5 athletes, with Manager Adrian Marriott. Adrian was on Team England at STWM 2007 where he ran 2:18:57. Adrian says Toronto holds a special place in his heart — literally. On his first visit, he met Danny Kassap who died so tragically in May of heart problems at only 28 years of age. Many will be “Remembering Danny” at this year’s STWM, either running in “Remembering Danny” shirts or helping at the “Remembering Danny 40K Water Station” at Front & Princess. Adrian has lived, run and competed successfully with a pacemaker since 2004 — the year that Danny had his remarkable breakthrough in winning STWM in 2:14:50.
Here are this year’s Team England “developmental” stars! We wish them “Best of British” against what will be a very tough and grizzly Team Canada.
Since returning to the sport in 2009 Sarah has been a prolific racer, winning many races in the Midlands area. She capped her comeback with victory at the 2011 Edinburgh Marathon in a time of 2.42.59 and will make her England debut in Toronto. When not out running Sarah takes care of her young family, coaches children and works as a physiotherapist. It’s a team effort as husband Rod trains with her and helps keep life in balance.
Michael is based in the US (Alabama) where he is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at Troy University, teaching and conducting research in the field of exercise science. The 2011 STWM will be Michael’s 14th start at the marathon distance, having set a personal best of 2.18.11 in the 2004 London Marathon. He ran a personal best for the half marathon earlier this year, clocking 65.14 to win the Mercedes Half Marathon and has also posted a 2.20.20 marathon in 2011 when placing second in the Snickers Albany Marathon in Georgia.
James has been in the sport for 22 years and as a member of the highly successful Bedford& County Club he has won multiple regional and national team honours on the road and country. He recorded his personal best of 2:22:36 in the 2011 Virgin London Marathon in his 6th start at the distance to earn selection for Toronto. He is looking to build on that performance in what will be his England debut at the age of 37.
Paul is a prolific marathoner with close to 20 races under his belt. He is making his England debut at the marathon distance after running a personal best 2:22:16 at London this year to earn selection. Aged 30 year and from the Springfield Striders Club in Chelmsford, Essex, Paul has previously run for England in Ultra Marathon, winning the silver medal at the 2009 IAU World 50k Championships in Gibraltar.