Reid Coolsaet, & Toronto Yonge Street 10K, Sporting Life 10K “de-confused”

Reid Coolsaet out-duels Eric Gillis & Kip Kanagogo to win 2011 CRS' Sporting Life Toronto 10K, now re-named Toronto Yonge Street 10K

We’re delighted to be able to announce that Canada’s #1 ranked marathoner, the 2011 Canada Running Series Men’s Champion, and hopefully London Olympics-bound Reid Coolsaet, has just confirmed that he will return to defend his title at next Spring’s Toronto Yonge Street 10K [April 22nd] — or the Sporting Life Toronto 10K as it was in 2011 and for the past 14 years. Many of us would argue that the last 800m of the 2011 race was one of the highlighs of the CRS 2011 season, as Reid outsprinted teammate Eric Gillis and Lethbridge’s Kip Kangogo in a thrilling dash to the line (VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/user/CanadaRunningSeries?feature=mhee#p/u/41/1tzybxYe7Z4 ). Reid adds:

There is no better place in Canada to run a 10km PB than the Toronto Yonge Street 10k. The course is fast, fun and entertaining, and the organization by the Canada Running Series team is first-class. That’s what really makes the quality of this run. I invite everyone to join me on April 22nd in this fabulous celebration of running!”

While we’re on the subject, I’d also like to take this opportunity to de-mystify, de-confuse the considerable confusion that seems to be out on the street regarding the Toronto Yonge Street 10K and the Sporting Life 10K. I’ve had a bunch of emails and Facebook messages from you about the issue, and it’s a subject that needs clarification.

Runners rule! The Signature Toronto Yonge Street 10K shot as masses pour down through Davisville

If you want the Cole’s Notes version, I’d suggest going no further than Shameen Miller’s NikeTrainingGirls Blog last week. Simply put, there will be two runs in 2012. The Toronto Yonge Street 10K on April 22nd is “the old race with the new name.” It’s the event you’ve run in for the last 26 years. It’s been owned and organized by the first-rate Canada Running Series team to the highest national and international standards you’ve all come to love and enjoy every Spring.

After organizing Toronto’s big Spring 10K on the first Sunday in May since 1986, we at CRS 

The duel down Yonge in 2011. More in store for April 22nd, 2012 at TYS10K!

 agreed to give up the date to make room for the GoodLife Marathon’s move from the Fall into the Spring season. Sporting Life have subsequently decided to end their title sponsorship of 14 years [before them it was Reebok, Coors Light, and Caledon Springs. See race history], to part company with CRS, and put on a run of their own, on the same course, in support of Camp Oochigeas, called the Sporting Life 10K, on May 13th. As Shameen put it, this “is a new run, with the old name!”   

We are enormously grateful for the 14 years of naming-rights fees and sponsorship support from Sporting Life and wish them nothing but well in their new go-it-alone venture.

However, Shameen has hit the nail on the head. The May 13th run down Yonge Street will now be organized for the first time, by the Sporting Life store and Jay Glassman, whose team has organized the GoodLife Marathon for many years, and will be doing so again, one week before they take on their first Sporting Life 10K organizing effort. 

So when Reid Coolsaet has just announced that he is returning to defend his title at TYS10K on April 22nd, it’s because he is returning to the same race that he won in such thrilling, dramatic style this Spring, when it was known at the Canada Running Series’ “Sporting Life Toronto 10K” on May 1st, 2011.

These are the straight facts.

How we got to this point of two races on the same route 3 weeks apart is a bit of a saga. I think Dave Chaundy-Smart, Editorial Director of Canadian Running magazine has given the best, fairest, most-balanced insight in his recent Op ed. http://runningmagazine.ca/2011/10/sections/news/the-toronto-10k-battle-who-really-wins/   Regardless of motives and machinations, I think it’s now more than time to move on. 

The CRS vision of inclusion & bringing all runners together. STWM11 Awards Night brings charity costume runner FLASH (Stephane Hetherington) together with elite athlete Reid Coolsaet, as he wins 'Best Costume: Marathon' Award & $2,500 for his charity Start2Finish

For two and a half decades, Canada Running Series’ professional team has owned and organized a top-notch, big Spring 10K; for the last 22 years, it’s been a signature event of the Coors Light Running Series – now the Canada Running Series. The CRS team has scoured North America and beyond to bring you organizational excellence and innovation, with Champion Chip timing, with accurate & safe courses, with Start Corrals and wave starts that we based on the 60,000 Peachtree 10K in Atlanta and the Bolder Boulder 10K, with great medals and shirts, and bands along the course as well as great post-run parties. We’ve built a full time staff of 12 and an infrastructure of 3,000+ volunteers that includes most of the running clubs in Toronto. The clubs and numerous high schools receive honourariums that support their athletics and other programmes, as well as the official charities of the races. We believe passionately in allowing community charities to use our CRS races as platforms for fundraising – how else would we have been able to raise a staggering $6.5 million together, for 238 charities in CRS2011? But we also believe in a balanced approach that also promotes running as a way of life and healthy lifestyles – “a ‘ParticipACTION’ built around running”.  And we believe in promoting the pursuit of excellence in Canadian running – of helping distance runners like Reid Coolsaet or Eric Gillis and many others, realize their Olympic Dreams, and in so doing, build role models and Canadian heroes, especially for our children. And we believe these 3 goals are not mutually exclusive. They belong together, and that the energy of each inspires the others to make the whole – running as a way of life, celebrated at the races – far greater than the sum of the parts. It was just great 2 weeks ago when Reid came out for the STWM Charity & Neighbourhood Challenge Awards Night as a guest presenter, and so many of the charities and neighbourhood groups wanted to have their photos taken with him. In turn, Reid was hugely inspired by the dedication, perseverance against great odds, and “giving” of the charity community.

Same great run, with new logo, new name!

So… we hope very much that you’ll sign up in droves for Toronto Yonge Street 10K and our other CRS events, to show your support for quality, well-organized runs; to continue to work together to build something very special for the running scene in Canada; AND to give back to our community through supporting the official charities associated with our CRS events. Regardless of the choices you make, I hope the difference between the CRS Toronto Yonge Street 10K and the new Sporting Life 10K is now much clearer!

Toronto Yonge Street 10K info and entry [at Early Bird rates until January 30th]: http://www.canadarunningseries.com/toronto10k/index.htm

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