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Team GB Runner Stories 2005:

JAMES RODGER: RW UK contest winner of Trip for 2 to Toronto Waterfront with Canadian Affair

James Rodger and Steve Bryant

RW UK contest winners, James Rodger and Steve Bryant. Thanks to Canadian Affair, more than 5,000 Brits got a chance to enter a contest on www.runnersworld.co.uk, to win a trip for two to Toronto Waterfront this year. It was the central feature of our integrated ad campaign in the UK this Spring, that included RW UK magazine ads, and booths at London and Edinburgh Marathons.

James and Steve, regular middle-of-the-packers from Cambridgeshire, were the jammy sods who won, and are "looking forward to the sightseeing, the CN Tower, Niagara Falls and a few pints", as well as the marathon.

"We have also managed to get tickets to see the Rolling Stones on the Monday after the race (probably will feel the same age as them). Can't wait to get to Toronto!"

THANKS to all of you who entered the contest, and especially those of you who are coming anyway! There'll be almost 200 of you—making Toronto Waterfront the #3 marathon for Brits in North America after NYC and Chicago.

Have a great time....

alan brookes, race director
ex- of Mobberley, Cheshire.

Letter from James....

Hi Alan; absolutely delighted to have won—I have never won anything like this before!

I guess you would like to know a bit about me?

I am 32 years old and live near Cambridge. I'm married with a young son, Louie.

I work as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist (handy for injuries) at a local hospital and the day I get back from Toronto will be starting a Masters in Manipulative Physiotherapy at University College, London.

I've run on and off for the past 10 years. However, it has only been in the last 5 years that I have taken it more seriously, running in organized races. I have run more than 10 half-marathons (furthest a field Prague) with a pb of 1h.47mins, and numerous 5km and 10km races.

I have only run one marathon which was the Flora London in April this year. I put a lot of hard work in, but had a viral throat infection the day before. I came in at a well under par 4hours 50mins. I was very disappointed as I was aiming for sub 4hours. Toronto Waterfront really feels like a second chance!

I usually train between 4-6 times a week covering anywhere between 20-35 miles. If I'm not running, I'm usually down at the gym or swimming.

I've never been to Canada before so am extremely excited at not only running your marathon but also taking in a bit of sight-seeing.

Due to family commitments my wife who I normally run with is unable to travel, so another running friend, Steve Bryant, has accepted the challenge.

Steve has played a lot of sport over the years mostly rugby and has only recently taken to running seriously (after giving up his 20 year smoking habit). He has run a number of local 10k and 5k races and stated "I will never run a half marathon". Toronto was to big a carrot for him to refuse and he has now stepped up his training. He works as a surgical assistant at a local Cardiothoracic hospital.

We have been trying to work out what sight-seeing we can do while we are in Toronto—there seem loads to try and fit in. We are disappointed that we will not be able to see a baseball or ice hockey game as we are both big sports fans—however, we have managed to get ticket to see the Rolling Stones on the Monday after the race (probably will feel the same age as them).

I hope all is going well with your preparation. We are really excited about come to visit. Looking at your website it looks an amazing course and a wonderful city. A number of my friends have relatives in Canada and are amazed at the cheap flights Canadian-Affair offer, so hopefully already us winning the competion has helped business!

We have received all the information about our flights and just can't wait to get to T.O.!

James Rodger.

P.S. Anyone wishing to join James and Steve, and "Team GB", can still do so. Canadian-Affair super deals on airfare from Gatwick, Manchester or Glasgow (£199 return, taxes included) and hotel (4-star Sheraton, £58 per room, per night) are available only by ringing them on 0207 616 9904. (approx. 20 seats still available).

Race entry (guaranteed acceptance for international runners) online at www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com.

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