TORONTO. August 11th. Organizers of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon have launched an extensive programme for the 25th anniversary edition of the event, to be run on Sunday, October 19th, 2014. “From the very beginning, the race has been about inclusion, about inviting everyone, and building both sport and community together,” said Race Director Alan Brookes. “So we’re really pleased to be able to offer ‘something for everyone’ in this year’s 25th Anniversary celebrations!”
The centre-piece is a greatly expanded “History” section on the event website that now contains more than 100 images depicting key moments in the growth and development of the race, and of Canadian road racing scene. From changes in fashion, timing technology, courses and venues, plus unforgettable performances, the new section brings alive the lengthy road traveled to get to where we are today.
The race was first run on Sunday, October 14th, 1990, as the Coors Light Toronto Half-marathon & 5K in support of the YMCA Community Fund. That year, the winners were American Olympic legend Joan Benoit Samuelson (72:37) – the first winner of an Olympic women’s marathon six years earlier in 1984 — and Virginia’s Steve Taylor (62:29). They took home Coors Light beer-can trophies as well as cash prizing. The event continued as a half-marathon and 5K until the 42.195 kilometre full-marathon distance was added in 2000. While the sponsors and charities have also changed over a quarter-century, the pillars of the events’ success have been remained the same: inclusiveness, and a measured balance between offering an international-class sporting event that puts the city on the athletics’ world stage, and a major, local, community fundraising festival. Scotiabank became title sponsor in 1997 and has remained so for 18 years. The innovative Scotiabank Charity Challenge was introduced at a pilot project in 2002, the Neighbourhood Challenge in 2004, and combined have raised a remarkable $20.97 million since that date – mostly for smaller, local charities.
To celebrate the quarter-century of the event and the 15th running of the marathon, organizers are also offering a range of souvenirs under the banner “25 Years Running”.
- ALL participants are invited to download a free Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront “Digital Training Badge” to let everyone know that they are preparing for the special anniversary edition http://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/en/training-badge.htm
- Begun last year, the “STWM Stars Programme” has been expanded to recognize those runners who have completed multiple Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Full Marathons.
- this year, all those running their 5th STWM full marathon in 2014 will receive an “STWM Stars” beer mug sponsored by Mill St. Brewery.
- those running their 10th or more STWM full marathon in 2014 will be inducted into the new “Platinum Club”, will receive a special commemorative medal and a range of other benefits.
(rewards can be picked up at the Awards Tent in the Post-Race Party Site on race day).
- BROOKS, the official athletic footwear and apparel partner, will be offering an expanded range of souvenir merchandise at the race EXPO, at the Direct Energy Centre on Friday and Saturday, October 17th & 18th.
- This year’s EXPO will also feature a “25 Years Running” photo display and Signing Wall. The display captures many of the memorable moments from a quarter century at the event, and will be drawn from the new, expanded “History” section of the website. The Signing Wall will then provide the opportunity for the 25,000 participants from 60+ countries to leave their mark on the special occasion.
- The Guest Speakers’ Series on the main stage at the EXPO will also feature several high-performance and recreational runners who have already stamped their mark on the history of the event. Panel discussions will also compare racing Toronto Half Marathon/Toronto Waterfront Marathon over the last 3 decades, and how things have changed
- These include Virginia Lee and Rick Rayman, the only runners to have completed all 14 editions of the STWM 42k — this year will be their 15th!
“So much has changed in Canadian road running in 25 years,” said Brookes. “This year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half & 5K will be a great time to reflect on how far we’ve come together, and celebrate with an outstanding race weekend!” Everyone is invited!” www.stwm.ca