Neighbourhood Challenge >> Spectator Viewing Guide

2010 Spectator Viewing Guide

Check out the Neighbourhood Challenge for all the best places to watch and cheer from!

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Live Results and More on Race Day

Follow all the action on our LIVE COVERAGE page, with Leader/Finish line Cam, Live Blog Commentary, and Live Results all in one place!

WATCH Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon "LIVE" wherever you are in the world, on 7:15am to 2pm, with commentators Mihira Lakshman & Paul Gains. Join in the race with Jay Brecher on our "Live Blog", and track your friends and loved ones every 5K around the course with LIVE RESULTS from Mylaps & Sportstats. All 3 windows will be on the LIVE page on race-day, Sunday October 16.

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Some of the best viewing spots around the course and how to get there

best viewing spots

Everyone can't fit at the Finish Line in Nathan Phillips Square — 20,000+ runners this year means at least another 20,000 loved ones and supporters. This year, more than ever, we're encouraging loved ones and spectators to pick out key viewing spots along the course — ANY of our 12 fabulous Neighbourhood Cheering & Entertainment Centres will be great.

The following 5 locations are also great viewing spots at key points that are easy to get to:

CENTRAL (walking distance from Nathan Phillips Square):

  • Lower Bay Street
  • St. Lawrence Market
  • Harbour Square on Queens Quay

EAST END via TTC — Queen streetcar:

  • Murphy's Law @ Queen & Kingston Rd.

WEST END via TTC — Queen streetcar:

  • 10k: @ Roncesvalles Bridge to Palais Royale

Places to Avoid

If you want to follow your loved ones and try and get a glimpse of them as they pass, we suggest avoiding the very crowded places where it is difficult to find a spot, hard to move around and get in and out. These are:

  • Bay Street (north of Front Street)
  • Nathan Phillips Square

Obviously, many of you will eventually end up in Nathan Phillips Square later on in the day as you head to meet your loved one in the Friends and Family Zone.

Check the website race week for all the "hot spots" on course to watch the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.


Elites at a Glance

Check them all out now on the bios and form sheet from the Pick the Champions contest, brought to you by Canada Running Series. Pick the Top 3 Men & Women in the correct order, and you could WIN A TRIP FOR 2 to ANY CRS 2011 EVENT!

who will win the race?


What is a Marathon?

  • A “marathon” is a footrace of an exact specific distance: 26 miles 385 yards, or 42.195 kilometres in metric. All recognized “marathons” have to be measured by IAAF certified measurers on bicycles with special “Jones counters”. The Boston Marathon, the London Marathon, the Paris Marathon, are ALL this precise distance. It took 16 hours to accurately measure the Waterfront course!
  • 42.195 kms, eh? To put that in perspective, that's like running from Toronto's City Hall at Nathan Phillips Square to the Ford Plant in Oakville, or to Milton, or well past Aurora almost to Newmarket, or to Victoria Park in Whitby. And the lead guys will be averaging 20 km/h the whole way! The lead women will average 17 km/h.
  • How did the marathon get to be such a quirky distance? It began with the legend from Greek antiquity, where in 490BC the messenger Pheidippides reportedly ran from the battlefield at Marathon to Athens [approx. 35km] to give news of the Greek victory over the Persians. The modern marathon was begun in the 1890s as a footrace of any long distance—sort of like a “marathon session”. At the 1896 Olympics in Athens the marathon was 24.85 miles. The first Boston Marathon was run on April 19, 1897, over a distance of 24.5 miles. At the 1908 Olympics in London, the royal family wanted the marathon to start on the grounds at Windsor Castle where the royal children could watch, and to finish right under the royal box at the White City Stadium. That distance was 26 miles 385 yards, and by the 1920s marathons had become standardized and fixed at that distance. 42.195 kilometres—blame the extra two miles on the kids!
  • The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront marathon was begun in 1990 as a Half marathon [21.1km] with an accompanying 5km run/walk. The Half was won the first two years by American legend Joan Benoit Samuelson, who had won the first-ever Olympic marathon for women in 1984. In 2000, a full marathon of 42.195 km was added on the flat, fast, Lakeshore Boulevard route.
  • On September 27th, there will be a Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon [42.195k], plus Half [21.1] and 5K events, with 18,000+ participants from every Canadian province and territory, 40+ American states and 30+ countries worldwide.
  • A marathon is not just a run for over 400,000 people a year in North America and many more worldwide: the marathon is a life experience! According to London Marathon CEO, Nick Bitel, “the marathon has become THE life experience of the everyday person in our era”.
  • The marathon is a chance for travel and a festival, a signature event that showcases a city to the world. The world's largest marathon, the New York City Marathon with over 37,000 finishers has an annual economic impact on the big apple of US$188 million [2005 event]; in Chicago and Honolulu it's around US$80 to $100 million. Even as a relatively new marathon on the international scene, Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will have an estimated economic impact on more than C$15 million this year. And covering 42km of real estate, viewers will see all of Toronto's Waterfront—the good, the bad and the ugly!
  • A marathon gives many folks a chance to give back to the communities they live in and run through. On September 27th, around 2,500 of the runners will be going the distance for 99 charities in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. Combined, they'll raise over C$1,500,000 for local charities like the Fort York Food Bank, the Mon Sheong Foundation for Seniors or the Assaulted Women's Helpline. Many of these are small, local charities for whom this is a huge weekend. The London Marathon, “the world's greatest race” annually raises more than $90 million in one weekend! These monies mean that a marathon is not just about a bunch of nutters running around the city in their underwear one Sunday morning—it's something that has a year-round impact, funding and building awareness for important grass-roots programs.