An Important Update on our In-Person Plans

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Hello fellow runners, CRS family and friends,

We’re writing you with some potentially exciting news. For the past few months, we have been working in close collaboration with the City of Toronto, on a plan to hold an in-person 10K race in Toronto on October 17th for 5000 people. The 10k distance is the only option we will be able to offer for STWM in-person in 2021.

We are not on the start line yet, we have not received approval for this event.

If we are able to move forward with an in-person event, we will launch registration by mid-August. Out of an abundance of caution, registration will be limited to Canadian residents only.

The STWM Virtual Race will continue as an option for international participants, those who prefer a virtual experience, or those who want to complete both the virtual and in-person races (if approved).

If you have further questions, please visit our FAQ section where we have answers about registration, race details and more, based on what we currently know.

To make sure you don’t miss out on our next update, you can subscribe to our newsletter here.

You can also visit for our full 2021 virtual race calendar.

2021 Race Shirt Artist Application

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Applications are now closed. 

Founded in 1990, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is the grand finale and signature event of the Canada Running Series. It is Canada’s #1 big-city, world marathon and holds a prestigious World Athletics Gold Label. The event attracts 25,000 people from across Canada and over 70 countries, and raises over $3.5 million annually for local charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

We are looking for a new artist/designer to work with us on the 2021 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon race shirt! This shirt will be worn by up to 10,000 participants around the world in our virtual race and will serve as a cherished momento of this year’s event.


Submit your work to be considered as our 2021 shirt artist.

We are not asking for spec work. Please submit work that has already been produced. We understand that concept work takes time, so we ask that you do not submit new race shirt concepts at this time.

Please provide a web link or a PDF with samples of existing work.

Greater consideration will be given to artists with experience in designing shirt graphics or screen prints.

Applications are now closed. 


The deadline for applications is May 17, 2021.

By May 21, 2021, Canada Running Series will select up to 3 artists to arrange a short video interview.

Following the interview process, one artist/designer will be selected to create the 2021 Race Shirt design. To be contacted the week of May 24, 2021.

The anticipated completion date will be June 25, 2021.


The chosen artist or designer will be paid $2,000.00 CAD for the project. You will be promoted through Canada Running Series/Toronto Waterfront Marathon’s website, social media and newsletter. You will be credited as the artist of this year’s shirt, with links to your website and/or social media where possible.

Artwork Usage:

The finished artwork will be screen printed on up to 10,000 technical race shirts and given to all event participants this coming fall.

We encourage applications from artists/designers in under-represented groups including women, Black and Indigenous People of Colour (BIPOC), other racialized persons and LGBTQ2+ persons.

Nearly $3 million raised by 163 partners in 2020 Scotiabank Charity Challenge

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Fundraising has just closed for the Scotiabank Charity Challenge at this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Virtual Race with a remarkable CAD $2.97 million raised for 163 official charities. This represents 85% of the usual total realized in previous, real-life editions.

“Many of our partners are small, mostly-local charities,” said Race Director Alan Brookes. “Their commitment and determination in the face of adversity has been truly outstanding and arguably the success story of the virtual experience.”

“We can’t thank and recognize the resilience of our charity runners and walkers enough,” added Brookes. “In a normal year they represent about one-in-five of our total participants. This year one-in-three of those on our virtual start lines were running to help others and keep our community whole.”

Behind every dollar raised there’s a story. Whether it’s a runner completing their first marathon for a worthy cause, or a single fundraiser raising thousands of dollars for their charity of choice, everyone has their own reason(s) to participate.

And behind every dollar raised there’s a beneficiary who is depending on the services provided by these 163 charities for survival, their health, and their mental well-being. For some, during this pandemic, it’s the peace of mind knowing they can count on a daily meal provided by their local organization. For others, it’s access to mental health support. Funds raised through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge provide much-needed access to these resources.

Among the 163 charity partners, Fountain of Love & Life, Lumenus Community Services, Amistad Canada, and the Anishnawbe Health Foundation shared their experiences fundraising in a year like no other.

Here are their stories.

Lumenus Community Services

Lumenus offers a broad range of high quality mental health, developmental and community services for infants, children, youth, individuals and families across Toronto.

“The challenges of COVID-19 remain prevalent in the media, social conversations, and the thoughts of many Torontonians,” the group said. “For those who experience worry, anxiety, and other mental health challenges, Lumenus steps in.”

Lumenus and its separate organizations have participated in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge for more than 10 years, raising funds to support youth mental health. This year, Lumenus, an amalgamation of Adventure Place, Griffin Centre, Skylark Children, Youth & Families, and The Etobicoke Children’s Centre raised $70,702 towards supporting mental health, developmental and community services for individuals and families in the Toronto area.

One of the many highlights for Lumenus during the Scotiabank Charity Challenge includes a story from a teenager named Tre.

“I’m a Grade 12 student, and the support during COVID-19 has been incredible,” said the 17-year-old. “During this time I’ve been having so many issues and the amount of support I have gotten from Lumenus has been very helpful. The youth outreach worker and my therapist are awesome. I love them all and I can’t wait for more!”

Mental health issues are at an all-time high and through the marathon, those like Tre are able to realize their full potential.

Given the challenges of fundraising remotely, Lumenus adopted several innovative ways to engage their community: online contests, providing around the clock peer-to-peer support by phone, and launching a series of email blasts that included safe running and fundraising tips.

“Despite being socially apart, we came together as a united team,” the charity said. “Where there are gaps, participants and supporters have helped Lumenus create seamless connections. Where there are obstacles or barriers, participants and supporters have helped Lumenus to improve access. And where there is worry, participants and supporters have helped Lumenus create hope.”

Amistad Canada

Amistad Canada works to improve the lives of Mexicans-in-need through health and education Projects delivered in partnership with 14 Mexican NGOs.

“Our Mexican project partners are active in the areas of Health and Education. During a pandemic, traditional food donations (school programs, church lunches, restaurant and hotel donations) were no longer available,” Amistad Canada said. “Therefore, while funds continued to be directed towards health and education programs, a significant portion of the funds raised were diverted to buying basic food necessities, so people could count on one daily meal.”

In 2020, their first year participating in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, Amistad Canada raised over $38,000. Thanks to the virtual component of the STWM, seven of Amistad Canada’s Mexican project partner NGOs were able to raise funds in a new way, allowing them to avoid crowd-gathering and virtually reach out to many more donors.

“It has been such a rewarding experience, many of our Mexican Project Partners are now leveraging their virtual marathon learnings to create their own virtual fundraising events. We had a lot of fun! As one Amistad Canada participant observed: In a virtual marathon you can run or walk. Or lie. But the final results tell the truth. All the runners, supporters and volunteers are champions and their hard work generated meaningful benefit for many Mexicans in this time of extra need. True teamwork.”

Anishnawbe Health Foundation

First-year charity partner Anishnawbe Health Foundation doubled their fundraising goal in 2020, raising more than $10,000 for improving health and healing for First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Toronto. These funds will help build a new home for Anishnawbe Health, which breaks ground in 2021.

“Due to the pandemic, we had to cancel our annual fundraising events in 2020,” Angela Miller of AHT said. “We’ve also not had as many opportunities to interact with donors and the community.”
With the help of two local volunteers, AHT provided a unique fundraising experience for participants. All team members participated in a curated self-guided Don to Downtown Walking Tour in Support of Anishnawbe Health.

Participants not only accomplished a goal of completing 5 km, team members soaked in the sights on route including public art, history, and how the land has transformed over time in Corktown, St. Lawrence, Esplanade and the Canary District neighbourhoods. All of these areas are normally part of the STWM course as well.

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon offered a new and unique way to engage volunteers and donors, and given the history of the race and the fact that Scotiabank covers all the fees associated with online fundraising, the Anishnawbe Health Foundation was able to participate with a limited budget and have every dollar raised go towards the charity.

Fountain of Love & Life

Fountain of Love & Life has participated in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge since 2010.

This year, they were the top overall fundraising charity, raising $622,063.95.

“Our team of over 120 walkers and runners were very enthusiastic both in fundraising and going the extra mile, literally, in the distance we cover together,” the organization said. “We had walked and run a total of 2,143.76 kilometres! The spirit of our team also inspired a few donors to provide matching funds to encourage other donors to support our team and FLL to reach our fundraising goal. We are super grateful to all the participants in doubling their effort so that we could raise more than what we did in previous years, which is an extraordinary blessing from above.”

Close to $150,000 of the initial funds raised were used to purchase PPE’s for the frontline healthcare workers in Ontario, mainly in the Greater Toronto Area. The other funds raised will help sustain their operations in 2021 and allow Fountain of Love & Life to develop capacity in offering more online Catholic spiritual resources and meaningful events for the Chinese community around the world during and after the pandemic.

“The STWM both saves us from having to put in lots of resources to organize a walkathon/fundraiser ourselves and provides us with a very effective fundraising platform,” they said. “Being able to join a world-class marathon event brings much excitement among our participants every year. The support that the STWM organizers provide to the charities is exceptional. We are very grateful for the opportunity to fundraise through STWM over the past 11 years, without which it would be impossible for us to raise this amount of money through our normal channels.”

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will return as a virtual race October 1st – 31st 2021. Tentative plans are underway for an in-person event on Sunday October 17th, 2021, but that is subject to confirmation based on COVID-19. For updates, visit

Fall in Love with Running Again

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8 Trail Running spots within a drive of Toronto to see the leaves change

Sponsored by Mazda, official automotive sponsor of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Fall is arguably the best season to run and to explore the outdoors. Cool temperatures, low humidity, and best of all: colours so vibrant you can’t even believe they’re real. To make things even better, there are so many unforgettable parks and lookouts within a short drive of Toronto that it’s hard to choose which spot to visit next.

To help you narrow down your choices on where to head this fall, we compiled eight of the top fall trail running/hiking spots within a 2-3-hour drive of Toronto (ranked by distance from downtown Toronto), along with a few apres-run activities. With that said, there are still plenty of trails to explore within Toronto itself, but why not make an out-of-town adventure one of these weekends?

These locations are car-friendly with parking at trail heads, and all feature a mix of stunning fall foliage, beginner to expert terrain, and in some cases breathtaking views from elevated lookouts. To help plan your next road trip, reference Ontario Parks’ handy leaf report to ensure you time your trips for peak fall-viewing.

Be sure to plan your run or hike in advance. Many of these inclusions as provincial parks require that every visitor register their visit ahead of time and choose a date and time slot.

Kortright Centre for Conservation
Drive from Toronto: 40mins

Who knew Toronto had 325 hectares of pristine woodlands? The Kortright Centre for Conservation is a gem nestled away just north of Toronto, and offers an abundance of running and hiking trails. This is one of the closest and best spots to visit outside the city’s core.

Mount Nemo
Drive from Toronto: 45mins

With approximately 5 kilometres of trails, Mount Nemo is on the smaller side for a park, but offers unmatched views and colours during the fall. It’s also less-visited than its nearby counterparts, making it a great option for introductory trail runs, or beginner hikes.

Make sure to stop by Brock Harris Lookout on your run or hike. On a clear day, you can see the CN Tower in the distance, and the lookout offers stunning views of the escarpment below. If this smaller park is too limited for your abilities, Rattlesnake Point or Kelso Conservation Area are a short drive away to do a double-header.

Dundas Peak
Drive from Toronto: 50mins
Dundas Peak is one of the most noteworthy lookout points within the GTA and surrounding area. Start off by viewing Webster’s Falls, and then make a pit stop at Tew’s Falls, a 41-metre high waterfall, while you continue to run the escarpment. Note: Dundas Peak is an extremely popular spot, especially in autumn. Visit early in the morning or during the week to avoid crowds.

Swing by Shawn & Ed Brewing Co. in Dundas or Merit Brewing in Hamilton for a post-run snack on your way back to Toronto.

Forks of the Credit Provincial Park
Drive from Toronto: 53mins

There are numerous trails through Forks of the Credit Provincial Park including the Bruce Trail, Dominion Trail, Kettle Trail, Meadow Trail, and Trans-Canada Trail. Notable features of the park include a kettle lake, talus slope, and a passage of the Credit River, for which the park is named.

Boyne Valley Provincial Park
Drive from Toronto: 1hr15mins

Boyne Valley Provincial Park is a mix of local, hardwood forest, open fields, bottomland, and swam situated along the Bruce Trail, an 890-kilometre long trail that connects much of southern Ontario. At the northern part of the park, the Bruce Trail offers excellent views and a lookout.

Mono Cliffs Provincial Park
Drive from Toronto: 1hr10mins

With six moderate trails ranging from 5.6 to 13.4 kilometres, Mono Cliffs Provincial Park within the small rural town of Mono. Walk through a canyon or past 30 metres cliffs on the cliff top trail for a stunning blend of fall colours and waterfalls.

Foley Mountain Conservation Area
Drive from Toronto: 3hr:19mins

Foley Mountain Conservation Area is a three-ish hour drive from downtown Toronto, but well worth it. This conservation area sits adjacent to Westport on the banks of the Upper Big Rideau Lake. Stop by Old Bob’s Lookout and Spy Rock for stunning views of the valley below, and visit Scheuermann or Westport Brewery for a post-run/post-hike pizza.

Bruce Peninsula National Park
Drive from Toronto: 3hrs35mins

Situated at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula near Tobermory, this national park is one of the most popular parks in Ontario. Take Marr Lake Trail for access to Georgian Bay, follow High Dump Trail for a run adjacent to the water for 7-plus kilometres, or tackle Crane Lake to Little Cove for a 30-kilometre trek. Make a visit to nearby Tobermory afterwards before heading back to Toronto.

Sponsored by Mazda, official automotive sponsor of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

How To Celebrate After Your Virtual Race

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Presented by Mazda. Proud to be the official automotive sponsor of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Training through, and racing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is no easy feat. Group runs have been interrupted, races postponed or cancelled, and your 2020 plans went out the window. Still, there’s reason to celebrate. After all, you crushed the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Virtual Race.

These tips will help you make the most of your post-run experience, and will have you itching for better races, and faster times in 2021.

Celebrate With Your Favourite Beverage/Meal

Plan your favourite post-race meal and treat yourself after your virtual run. This may include your favourite pizza, dessert, or an alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) beverage that is particularly meaningful to you. This will help solidify the racing experience in your memory bank, and make the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Virtual Race worth remembering.

Specifically brewed for this year’s virtual race, Great Lakes Brewery released a limited-edition Virtual Beer, a 4.3% New England Pale Ale. We asked RUNTOBEER co-founder Dan Grant about this new beer. This is how he describes Virtual Beer, which was created in partnership with RUNTOBEER and GLB. “Our New England-style Pale Ale is a very full-bodied, refreshing Pale Ale,” he says. “Lots of fresh, white grapefruit citrus with notes of melon (think Five-Alive, but less sweet).”

“We have a different approach to post-run beer from what you find at most races,” Grant continues. “This isn’t a low-calorie, low-carb option. It’s not infused with electrolytes. It’s not about how it fits into your running lifestyle. Runners train for months for STWM. They make all kinds of sacrifices along the way. We wanted to give them a really, really good beer at the end of the race. This one is bursting with bright, fresh, juicy flavour.”

Even better, 50 cents from each sold can is donated to Good Foot Delivery, an organization that provides engaging employment for people from the neuro-diverse community through a competitive professional courier service delivered via public transit with pride.

You’ll notice Virtual Beer features a DIY finishers time label (inspired by the video games of the 80s) designed by Richard Kuchinsky. Keep the can, wash it out, and record your time with a permanent marker.

But act fast to get this “limited-run” of beer—only 6,000 cans were made and there is limited supply left. Virtual Beer is available at Great Lakes Brewery in Etobicoke, or by home delivery through their webshop. Cans (473 mL) retail for $3.50. Cases of 8 for $28, and a 24 for $78. Always drink responsibly. Do not drink and drive.

Wear Your Race Medal and Shirt

You earned it. Wear your New Balance souvenir shirt, and sport your one-of-a-kind finisher’s medal with pride, just like you would after any race. No race is complete without the obligatory post-race selfie or photo with the race medal. Your pre-race ritual may even include setting out your post-race attire, just like you would before a typical race. This will get you into the racing mindset, and will allow for a quick-change post-virtual run.

Make sure to tag us @towaterfront42k on Instagram with all of your race photos accompanied with the hashtags #TOwaterfront42k #MoveForwardTO.

Upload Your Stats To Race Roster

Visit Race Roster after your run and make sure to upload your stats. This is how to do it:

  • Go to your Participant Dashboard
  • Find the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Virtual Race
  • Click on “Post Your Result”
  • Choose your distance and input your time (input a number for hours:minutes:seconds; use 0 if needed.)
  • Click “Submit Results” and you’re done!
  • Once your results are submitted, click on your name in the results, and then click “Download Certificate” to receive your Virtual Finisher’s Certificate.

Additionally, upload your run to Strava, give it a title, and perhaps even add a memorable photo to it before sharing your accomplishment with the running community.

Attend The Virtual Race Expo

After you’re done with your run, make sure you check out the STWM Virtual Expo to take advantage of a lot of great offers and contests from our partners like Mazda. If you haven’t completed your run in October just yet, make this a pre-race preparation. The Virtual Expo is live from Saturday October 17th at 10 a.m. until Sunday October 18th at 6:00 p.m. The Expo will remain open until Saturday October 31st. You can visit here!

Presented by Mazda. Proud to be the official automotive sponsor of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

How To Complete The Whole Shebang

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Presented by Mazda. Proud to be the official automotive sponsor of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

The Whole Shebang is an event to challenge yourself in a way that you rarely get in a racing season! It involves completing all  four Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon distances:

Half  Marathon (21K)
Marathon (42K)

That’s a total of 78.3 kilometres, or roughly the distance between Toronto and Hamilton.

Traditionally, runners choose one, maybe two, race distances in any given event. This year, thanks to virtual races, you have the opportunity to test your limits and do all four. The Whole Shebang is currently sold out, but if you were lucky enough to snag a spot for this event, read on!

How to Schedule Your Races

You’re ready to run all four races. Now, it’s time to actually plan out when to race.

We spoke with Seanna Robinson, founder and principal of RunningWell Inc. – a company that brings health, fitness and personal growth to employees through running coaching and training. Also a coach with high-performance running group the Monarch Athletics Track Club, and founder and active member of the Lower East Siders running group, Robinson suggests not to race all four as all-out efforts.


Generally speaking, you want to space out longer runs, whether it’s in racing or in training. For the Whole Shebang, you want to maximize the time between the half -marathon and marathon. More time between races means longer recovery.

Specifically, Robinson recommends to run the 10K first, and to use it as a training run.

“Add in a good quantity of km’s beforehand and after, as this will also double as your longest training run before the marathon (probably in the 30K + range). Approach it as a long run with a 10K tempo built in. The following week you could do the half -marathon. I would use this as a B-goal race. Provided you’ve done good marathon training mileage leading up to it, you should be able to run it fairly hard and recover within the next few weeks before the marathon. Given you’ve just done your biggest long run the weekend before, you won’t be optimally tapered, so just use it as a good hard effort and you might surprise yourself.”

She adds, the half marathon “will also be a good fitness indicator before the marathon so you’ll have a better sense of how to pace yourself. Use the next two weeks to taper and recover as fully as you can before the marathon. Throw the 5K in the weekend before as a sharpening effort – I would do this one at goal marathon race pace with about 10K ‘warm-up.’ Then taper on in and have an awesome marathon.”

Sample schedule:

Oct. 1-4: 10K
Oct. 5-11: Half marathon
Oct. 12-18: Rest
Oct. 18-25: 5K

Oct. 26-31: Marathon

How To Prepare For The Whole Shebang

In terms of preparation, Robinson says that your training should be geared towards the marathon—since there’s no faking the distance.

She says, “The best thing people can do to specifically prepare for running hard four times in a month is to carry in a lot of base for strength.” This is because strength will allow you to recover better between hard efforts.

The last, and final piece of preparation is planning out your routes. After that, all that’s left is to put your fitness to the test. in terms of recovery, eat and sleep as much as you can, Robinson says. This will be a taxing month on your body and you’ll have to support it with more nutrition and more hours of sleep.

Presented by Mazda. Proud to be the official automotive sponsor of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

How To Stay Motivated For Your Virtual Race

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Presented by Mazda. Proud to be the official automotive sponsor of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

You did it. You’ve signed up for your virtual race. All that’s left between now and race day is preparation. There’s just one hurdle to overcome: staying motivated.

Draw inspiration from these six tips on staying upbeat about your virtual race.

Set Goals

The first step to keeping yourself accountable, and motivated for race day is to set a race goal.

Once you’ve set your virtual race day goals, write them down. Then, to keep your goal top of mind, do any of the following:

  • Hang it from your fridge
  • Make it your phone’s home screen.
  • Update your Instagram bio with your next race and goal.
  • Set your phone alarm’s label to include your goal.

Daily check-ins and subtle reminders of your goal(s) will help you stay focused for race day.

Follow A Training Plan

You have a goal. Now it’s time to bridge the gap between current fitness and race day fitness. To stay motivated, follow a prescribed training plan.

Sticking to a schedule and trusting your training will give you the confidence to keep going, and to crush it on virtual race day. Plus, you’ll have the peace of mind that you did everything you could to prepare.

Customize Your Race Route

Imagine this: racing your favourite route at a time that best suits you.

Customize your virtual race day route to your liking, and to your comfort level. Not only will this ease the nerves on race day, you’ll be able to draw motivation from actually mapping out the route.

Want to get even more creative? Set up an aid station with your Nuun hydration and fuel on route. Draw kilometre markings on the road with chalk. Although there’s no replicating the cheers and crowds of in-person races, you can do the next best thing.

Make it as fast or as challenging as you desire.

Partner Up*

A running partner can be a secret to success.

A friend not only keeps you accountable, but can actually be a source of motivation in and of itself.

Think about it: when training together, you put in work for yourself, but also for the other person. And vice versa. As much as running is an individual sport, this team effort can be a boost. There are few better aspects to running than having someone with whom you can share your struggles, your triumphs, your highs, and your lows.

*Most importantly, ensure a safe social distance with others, and follow precautions set out by healthcare and medical professionals.

Look Back On Your PBs

Looking back can help move you forward. Revisiting past races where you executed your plan can be motivation as it reminds you that you can do it.

Make It Fun

There’s no denying that your motivation may dip in the lead-up to any race. The key is to stay consistent in your training, and spice up race day to raise the excitement.

Here are a few ideas to add something a little extra for virtual race day:

  • Set out your race outfit the night before, and take a pre-race gear photo (like this or this).
  • Create a race day playlist—listen to your favourite songs to pump yourself up to race. Music can also be a great way to stay upbeat during the training phase.
  • Buy yourself a special beverage and meal for post-race to celebrate your accomplishment.
  • Ask a friend to bring the virtual race medal with them to give to you at the finish line so you can wear it proudly.
  • Wear your New Balance Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Virtual souvenir shirt in the days and weeks after the race. You earned it.

That’s it, now you know how to stay motivated for your virtual race. All that’s left is the racing itself.

Starting Oct. 1, be a part of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Virtual Race. From 5K to marathon, race any time between Oct. 1-31. Register now at

Presented by Mazda. Proud to be the official automotive sponsor of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Athletics Canada Marathon Relay Challenge to Provide Athletes a Virtual Competition

By | Races | No Comments

By Paul Gains

International and domestic road racing schedules have been decimated by the global pandemic leaving athletes scrambling to find competition. In response, Athletics Canada has now partnered with the Canada Running Series to produce the Athletics Canada 42.2k Relay Challenge.

This extraordinary ‘virtual’ initiative will provide a competitive target for athletes in a fun-filled atmosphere over the weekend of October 17-18th which, under normal circumstances, would be the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon race weekend. The race was also slated to be the 2020 Athletics Canada National Marathon Championship.

Teams consisting of four elite athletes – in male, female and mixed (2+2) categories – will compete for fun prizes and for the opportunity to put to use the training they have completed despite the uncertainty in the racing calendar. Prizing includes Athletics Canada national team merchandise gift certificates, Flying Monkeys beer, branded souvenir beer mugs, nuun hydration gift packs and more. Everyone who participates will also earn unique finishers’ medals – four different aspects of the iconic Toronto Old City Hall Clock Tower that stands at the Waterfront Marathon finish line, which then fit together.

Each athlete will have the opportunity to run their chosen distance, a minimum of 5k, with the four legs totaling 42.2k. They can choose a convenient time during the weekend to run and will then confirm their time and distance by uploading and submitting a screen shot from their GPS log (Strava, Garmin, MapMyRun etc) to Race Roster. Moreover, racers need not be in the same city as one another.

Though this format doesn’t replace an actual marathon competition it may be just what is needed during these challenging times.

For Athletics Canada’s Chief Operating Officer, Mat Gentes, the opportunity to continue a working relationship with Canada Running Series while providing runners with an outlet was compelling.

“There are still athletes putting the time in not knowing when they get to race or compete,” says Gentes. “As opposed to outright canceling and having nothing, which we could have easily done, we thought we would put something together that is fun and that is something that can put their training to use.

“There will be a bit of a strategy involved. You can break up that 42k however you want between you and your teammates. We have visions of some ‘dream teams’ being put together. I hope it is fun and provides social media fodder,” says Gentes.

Canada Running Series President, Alan Brookes, welcomes the Athletics Canada 42.2k Challenge as another opportunity for his 15 strong team of professional event managers to adapt to the changed landscape caused by the pandemic.

“Our mission for 30 years has been building community through running which includes fitness, lifestyle, social runners as one group, charity runners, and also high performance and competitive runners,” Brookes declares with pride. “We need to keep our community whole. I think this collaboration with Athletics Canada is going to provide motivation and incentive and a fun thing too that will keep us going.”

Brookes notes that over the years the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon has provided Olympians such as Lanni Marchant, Krista DuChene, Natasha Wodak, Reid Coolsaet, Eric Gillis, Dylan Wykes and Cam Levins a platform on which to compete against the world’s best on home soil. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of runners have raised more than $42 million for local charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

Gentes views the relay challenge as a successful initiative at a critical point in these challenging times.

“We are not going to replace any of the events that have been cancelled, not even close,” Gentes says. “As Alan knows very well there’s the excitement, the financial revenues, you are not going to achieve that with a virtual race. When I talked with Alan and his crew we wanted just to come up with something that is fun for the athletes to participate in.”

While the Athletics Canada Invitational Relay Challenge will attract some of Canada’s elite distance runners the event is by no mean restricted to elites. Anyone may assemble a team and join the Open four-person marathon relay by registering at, for a cost of CAD$135.

Each participant receives a souvenir t-shirt, a unique medal, discounts from Running Room and more.

Now the quest to form competitive racing relay teams begins in earnest.

About the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

One of only 5 World Athletics Gold Label marathons in all of The Americas, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada’s premier, big-city running event, the Athletics Canada National Marathon Championships, and the Grand Finale of the 8-race Canada Running Series. In 2019, it attracted 25,000 participants from 70 countries, raised $3.5 million for nearly 200 charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, and contributed an estimated $35 million to the local economy. The livestream broadcast was watched by more than 132,000 viewers from 79 countries.

Media Contact:

Alan Brookes
Race Director
Canada Running Series

Athletics Canada – Media Contact:

Riley Denver
Communications Coordinator
Athletics Canada


How to Fuel During Your Virtual Race

By | Training | No Comments

You trained, you registered for your virtual race, and you set goals. The final item on the list: practice and execute your virtual race day fueling strategy.

Follow these tips – for the before, during, and after – for your next race. This will help you get the most out of your fitness, and speed up post-race recovery.

Keep It Simple

It’s been said before, and it’s worth saying again: don’t try anything new on race day.

Stick to what works. Eat the same foods and take in the same liquids as any other run. No need to get fancy and try a new nutrition strategy on race day. This will help with GI issues and keep your nerves at bay.

Plan your nutrition a few weeks before race day to give your body a test-run. For example, if you’re 4-6 weeks out from your goal race, practice your nutrition on your long runs. This helps your body acclimate, and allows you to practice how and when to fuel.

Adjust For The Conditions

Not all race days are created equal.

Humidity, temperature, and the sun all play a role. Additionally, factors like weight and sweat rate affect your fuelling strategy.

Nuun’s Experiential Marketing Director Mike Sommers recommends taking 4-8 ounces (120-240 mL) of fluid with electrolytes for every 20-30 minutes of running. In most cases, you’ll only need fuel for efforts longer than 45 minutes. Shorter races don’t require much mid-race fueling. In these cases, pre-race hydration, a pre-race meal you’re used to, and the post-race recovery is key.

For any race distance, being hydrated can help prevent fatigue and bonking, and reduce cramps. This is why taking in fluids and fuelling before the race is crucial.

Don’t Just Focus On The During

Focus on the before and after.

Nutrition and hydration is more than a reactive process. Hydration and fueling are essential in the days and hours leading up to your race.

The recovery portion of virtual race day is equally important. Be sure to celebrate, but consume liquids other than alcoholic beverages. Your body craves electrolytes and hearty meals including protein-rich foods.

Plan Your Route

The logistics and execution of fuelling is as important as the strategy. Below you’ll find a few options on how to actually fuel during your virtual race.

Option 1: Carry your fuel

This is the most flexible option as you have access to hydration and nutrition at all times. Carry a handheld water bottle pre-mixed with Nuun Sport or Nuun Endurance, which is designed for efforts longer than 90 minutes. Or, consume gels as required for every 30-40 minutes of activity.

The good: Easy access; consume as needed.

The bad: You need to carry your fuel.

Option 2: Set up an aid station and run a looped course

Choose a looped course and set up your own aid station. This can be as simple as planning a route around your house and looping back every 30-40 minutes. Alternatively, go full DIY and make your own aid station. Set up a small table with your bottles, or place them on top of your car.

The good: No need to carry your fuel; looped course.

The bad: Out-of-sight means your nutrition may go missing; can only access periodically.

Option 3: With a little help from your friends or family

Ask your significant other, training partner, or friend to support you on route by asking them to provide nutrition. They may set up shop on route at a pre-determined spot. Or, they can bike alongside you with the proper nutrition. This allows for easy access whenever you need fuel.

The good: Peer support; easy access; no need to carry fuel.

The bad: Requires another person’s commitment; route needs to be better planned to avoid traffic.

Join us for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Virtual Race, and run any time between Oct. 1-31. Entry includes: a New Balance souvenir shirt, unique finishers medal, virtual bib and finishers certificate, discounts from the Running Room and Nuun, and much more.

*Photo credit: Nuun Hydration

How to Set Virtual Race Goals

By | Training | No Comments

Your choice of weather, preferred route, and an opportunity to try something new. These are the realities of virtual racing.

Although your favourite race of the year may be cancelled due to COVID-19, a virtual race may be just what you need to prepare for a (hopefully) in-person 2021 season.

When it comes to goal-setting, here’s how you can manage expectations, and get the most out of your body on virtual race day.

The A-B-Cs of Virtual Race Goals

One of the best ways to avoid race day disappointment is to set varying goals. Instead of having a singular focus, make A, B, and C goals.

Colin Murray-Lawson, coach of Toronto’s High Park Rogue Runners, says your A-B-C goals may look like:

  • ‘A’ goal: Everything goes right on race day. This could be a personal best.
  • ‘B’ goal: This goal should continue to motivate you even when you begin to struggle a bit. This might be a season’s best.
  • ‘C’ goal: A fall-back goal, like finishing the race, and knowing you gained valuable experience pushing your limit.

Plan For What Works For You

Are you an early-riser? Or are you an evening runner? The real beauty of virtual racing is that you can pick a day, and time, that best suits you.

Remember the adage, ‘don’t try anything new on race day?’ This remains true, even for virtual racing.

To help hit your race goal(s), map out your preferred route, and choose a time when you feel most confident racing. Murray-Lawson recommends using a familiar route as you can draw from your past training on route as inspiration, and you know exactly what to expect.

Earlier this year, for the Under Armour Spring Run-Off Virtual Race, the High Park Rogue Runners chose a hilly route to mimic the undulating course of High Park. Why? Choosing a route that makes the virtual race feel like the real thing can be a source of motivation.

Bonus tip: choose a low-traffic route to avoid stopping, and to reduce the need of crossing roads.

If you’re in Toronto, try the Martin Goodman Trail, which runs adjacent to sections of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon route. Running the route a few times before virtual race day gives you a chance to scope out the course beforehand in case there are any detours, closures, or construction.

Adjust Your Pace, Accordingly

Virtual races can be great exercises in learning your optimal racing plan.

For example, on race day, try different pacing strategies to see what might work best for you. Perhaps you’re better off going out a bit faster. Or, you may get more out of yourself by playing it safe for the first half of a race. The only way to determine your optimal race strategy is to try new approaches.

Similarly, virtual races are a great time to try something new. Have you mastered the 5K? Why not attempt the 10K. Are you a marathoner craving some speed? Try the half-marathon.

In these cases, revisit the A-B-C goals section to manage expectations, especially if you’re trying a new race distance for the first time.

Not Sure Where To Start? Use Training As An Indicator

If you haven’t raced in a while, look at your recent training to get a sense of fitness. It’s safe to say that you’re likely only going to get out what you put in.

Your past training – look at the past few months, and not just weeks – can keep your goals in perspective. Having your training in mind will allow you to go hard, but not too hard, to get the most out of yourself.

Capitalize on your training before year-end by joining us for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Virtual Race Weekend, featuring a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and marathon. Choose any day between Oct. 1-31 for your optimal race time, and submit your results online to see how you stack up. Registration is now open.