2022 TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon Race Report

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Records were not threatened today at the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon despite fast splits in the first 25km. But the racing was outstanding.

Once again world class fields were assembled for this World Athletics Elite Label race which also doubled as the Canadian marathon championships. The pacemakers for the elite men’s race took a pack of seven through the halfway point in an ambitious 62:27 and 30km in 1:29:40 and the Canadian All Comers’ record of 2:05:00 was still possible.

Once the pacers retired Kenya’s Felix Kandie assumed the lead and opened up a gap which split up the contenders into a single file procession. Over the final ten kilometres Yihunilign Adane ate up the gap and coasted to victory in 2:07:18. This was the second victory this year for the 26 year old Ethiopian as he also won Barcelona last April.

Kandie also submitted to the closing attack of his countryman Kiprono Kipkemoi (2:08:24) finishing 20 seconds later in third place.

“I knew I would catch him in the latter stages,” Yihunilign said afterwards. He was less pleased about the street car tracks and some potholes along one stretch. “I am happy I won but the roadway was a not as good as I expected I could have done better. When there was about 4km left I decided then to run the pace that I could make until the end.”

Kipkemoi would later explain he had tied his shoes too tight and twice had to stop during the race to repair the damage.

“I tied them too tight,” he revealed while rubbing his calves. “And then I used a lot of energy and my leg was paralysed. The course was good but it was a little windy. But the course is flat and good.”

Once again the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon served as the Canadian marathon championships and defending men’s champion, Trevor Hofbauer fought off a side stitch and the relentless pursuit of Rory Linkletter to finish 5th overall in 2:11:00. It was his third Canadian title. Linkletter came home for the silver medal in 2:13:32. Born in Calgary he lives in Flagstaff, Arizona with his wife and infant son who were in attendance at the finish.

The ‘running vet’ Lee Wesselius ran 2:16:51 to claim the bronze medal.

The women’s elite race was expected to be a battle between defending champion and record holder (2:22:16 Magdalyne Masai of Kenya and the Ethiopian woman whose All Comers record she had beaten by one second, Gelete Burka).

Burka had set her standard in Ottawa and was scheduled to race there again last May. But though she received a Canadian visa, her passport was not returned in time to travel. Consequently, she was highly motivated for this competition.

Like Kandie in the men’s race, Gelete took charge with about 10 kilometres remaining and looked as if the first place prize money of $25,000 was hers for the taking. The early pace, however, had taken its toll on the women’s field too. A pair of Kenyans, Antonina Kwambai and Ruth Chebitok went past her to fill the top two places in 2:23:20 and 2:23:58. The Ethiopian finished in 2:24:31. All three could hardly stand once they crossed the line.

“I passed her (Gelete) at 37km,” said the winner of her Ethiopian rival. “She was tiring. This is my first time here in Toronto. It was amazing for me. I am really excited and really happy.” She planned to go sightseeing before her Monday evening departure.

Gelete Burka was happy that she was able to finish. Although the $25,000 first place prize money evaded her, she will collect $10,000 for third.

“I was looking for the win, but I had a problem,” she said moments after exchanging high fives with Magdalyne Masai who had faded to 5th. “After 26km I was feeling my back and I was having a problem. Then I felt it in my hamstring so I could not push it anymore. I just controlled myself to finish in position three.”

Malindi Elmore won the Canadian title in 2:25:14. That was not far off her former Canadian record (2:24:50) set in Houston back in January of 2020. Most significantly she placed 4th overall ahead of Masai and Tseginesh Mekonnin of Ethiopia. It was another bold performance for the woman who finished a superb 9th in the 2021 Olympic marathon.

“That was the goal today,” Elmore said of her Canadian title. “That’s why I came here; I love winning Canadian Championships. It means a lot to me to win them and add that to my resume. It was so great having my family along the course. It made me smile inside every time I went by them.”

The Canadian Championship prize money earned her $8,000 and she also collects $5,000 for her overall fourth place finish.

Defending Canadian champion Dayna Pidhoresky finished second in the Canadian Championship race and seventh place overall. Her time was a commendable 2:30:58, her second best performance ever. Sasha Gollish claimed the bronze in a personal best of 2:31:40.

“It was wonderful to return to in-person racing and with a new sponsor TCS,” said race director Alan Brookes. “The athletes made it an exciting day. And with the attention on records, we often forget about racing. Who could have predicted the outcome during the last ten kilometres?”

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About the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon 

One of only two World Athletics Elite Label races in Canada, the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada’s premier running event and the grand finale of the Canada Running Series (CRS). Since 2017, the race has served as the Athletics Canada Canadian Marathon Championship and has doubled as the Olympic trials. During the 2021 event, participants raised over $3.08 million for 151 community charities. Using innovation and organization as guiding principles, Canada Running Series stages great experiences for runners of all levels, from Canadian Olympians to recreational and charity runners. With a mission of “building community through the sport of running,” CRS is committed to making sport part of sustainable communities and the city-building process. 

To learn more about the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, please visit www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com. 

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 STWM.ca.

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

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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 STWM.ca, 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.

https://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/virtual-race/

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. www.STWM.ca

Media Contact:

Alan Brookes
Race Director
Canada Running Series
alan@canadarunningseries.com

Athletics Canada – Media Contact:

Riley Denver
Communications Coordinator
Athletics Canada
905-517-4179
riley.denver@athletics.ca

 

2020 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Transitions to a Virtual Race

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TORONTO – Monday, July 13, 2020 – The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, set to take place on Sunday October 18th has been cancelled. Working closely with the City of Toronto and Mayor John Tory, event organizers Canada Running Series have made the decision to cancel the international event that generates $35 million in economic impact annually, due to COVID-19 related health and safety concerns.

“Sadly, we have reached a point where it is clear we will not be able to bring a mass event of 25,000 people from more than 75 countries, safely to downtown Toronto this October, and have officially canceled the 2020 in-person event,” said Race Director Alan Brookes. “We have shared so many unforgettable moments over 30 years at this race and are enormously disappointed. We greatly appreciate the support and understanding of the community and are pleased to announce that we will be transitioning to a virtual event this year, to continue to offer the best possible running and fundraising goals in these challenging times.”

“Although, this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will not be taking place in person, I want to thank Canada Running Series for putting the health and safety of spectators, runners and volunteers first by organizing a virtual event,” said Mayor Tory. “The virtual race this year presents a great opportunity to train and stay active throughout the summer and into the fall. I encourage residents to participate this year or to cheer on all the participants who are raising money for over 150 charity organizations in our community through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. I know I speak for Torontonians across this city when I say I look forward to 2021 when we can come together again and celebrate our vibrant city.”

“Every year, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon brings people together from around the world to raise millions of dollars for charity,” said Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario. “While there are a few changes to the run this year that put everyone’s health and safety first, it’s more important than ever to find ways to support those who might be in need during these unprecedented times. I encourage everyone to participate in this community-building event if they can, and support a great cause.”

All currently registered runners have been contacted with information regarding their 2020 registrations. New runners who want to sign-up for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Virtual Race can do so starting today at STWM.ca. The virtual event includes two new distance options: a four-person marathon relay and a 10K as well as the traditional marathon, half marathon and 5K.

The virtual event will be supported by a training program from Running Room and New Balance, who will also be designing official race merchandise. Participants will be invited to stay connected online in a variety of ways including bi-weekly Facebook Live get-togethers, a new running podcast and Spotify playlists to motivate them on training runs.

Unchanged, participants can sign up to fundraise for one of the race’s official charity partners in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. In 2019, participants raised over $3.5 million for 190 community charities. Every Dollar Helps. We encourage those in the position to do so, to support our charitable partners, who need our help now more than ever.

“Since 1990, like running itself, we’ve had good days and bad days” reflected Brookes. “We’ve learned to bear down and overcome injuries, illness, a multitude of setbacks and adversity. And now we have COVID-19″ said Brookes. “But our community is made of sterner stuff: dedicated, determined, courageous and strong. Together, we will prevail and return to the races that are beacons of solidarity and joy in our country and our lives.”

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Virtual Race will take place between October 1st and 31st 2020. Online registration is open now at http://STWM.ca

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. http://STWM.ca

Media Contact

Jenna Pettinato, Manager of Communications
jenna@canadarunningseries.com

Philemon Rono

Records Galore at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon celebrated its 30th edition with perfect weather conditions and the athletes responded.

Four men ran under Philemon Rono’s Canadian All Comers’ record led by the diminutive Kenyan himself at 2:05:00Philemon Rono

Lemi Berhanu of Ethiopia, the 2016 Boston Marathon champion, finished second though he had to be overhauled in the closing stages. His time was 2:05:09. He was followed by Felix Chemonges who broke the Ugandan national record held by Olympic champion Stephen Kiproticih with his 2:05:12. Defending Toronto Waterfront champion followed him in, just a second behind.

While the men’s race was incredible for its quality the women’s race saw no less than nine elite women run behind pacemakers through 30km before Magdalyne Masai-Robertson decided she would test the competition. Surging ahead at around 38 kilometers she set a new course record of 2:22:16 knocking four minutes off her best and also earning the women’s all-comers record by a mere second.

Ethiopia’s Biruktayit Eshetu was second in 2:22:40 with late addition Betsy Saina finishing third in 2:22:43. She had suffered food poisoning before last week’s Chicago Marathon and dropped out at half way. Her agent asked for a place in Toronto on Tuesday. All three women set personal bests. All three were delighted with their results.

“I didn’t realize there was nobody behind me until 40km,” Masai-Robertson said. “Yes, exactly I was running scared. You don’t want to give it all out and then have someone passing you with a couple of hundred meters to go. After 40km I checked behind. I thought ‘I can hold this.’

“I am really happy, just like I said before I had the perfect preparation for a marathon. The conditions were just perfect for a marathon race.”

Trevor HofbauerThe race served as both the Canadian Marathon Trials for the Tokyo 2020 games and Athletics Canada national championships with an unprecedented number of domestic entries chasing the automatic qualifying standards of 2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women.

Brave running by Trevor Hofbauer and Dayna Pidhoresky earned them enormous personal best times – by seven minutes – and Tokyo 2020 standards.

Hofbauer finished 7th overall with 2:09:51 the second fastest time by a Canadian of all time. The normally laid back Calgarian summed up his performance succinctly.

“I never looked at the splits or anything,” he admitted. “I didn’t know what time I was going to run until I came around the corner (to see the finish). Pretty cool experience. Give me a few days and it will sink in.” Trevor wasn’t even wearing a watch that day.

Later he revealed that he had been inspired by Cam Levins’ performance in Toronto last year when he beat Jerome Drayton’s 43 year old Canadian record with his 2:09:25. Training alone for the most part he pledges to continue training in Calgary where he is content.

Pidhoresky went out at an ambitious pace and while her husband/coach Josh Seifarth watched Dayna Pidhoreskynervously at the finish she booked her place on the Tokyo team by winning the Canadian title and beating the standard with her 2:09:03 personal best. That earned her 10th place in the women’s race.

There were other encouraging performances that might go otherwise unnoticed. Emily Setlack set a personal best as second Canadian with a time or 2:29:48. Tristan Woodfine improved his personal best to 2:13:16 while Cam Levins endured a hard day at the office finishing in 2:15:01.

The national master’s record went to two time Olympian Reid Coolsaet as the 40 year old finished in 2:15:23. Ever the optimist he revealed he was close to getting 2:14 but ran his last three kilometers a minute slower than he had been averaging.

All in all, it was a great day for a marathon with two all-comers records smashed and two Canadians have earned their place on the Tokyo 2020 team.

Congratulations to all runners.