Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka to Challenge TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

By | Athletes, Canadian Athlete Announcements | No Comments

By: Paul Gains

Gelete Burka, one of Ethiopia’s most accomplished athletes, will contest the 2022 TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 16th.  

A three-time Olympian for her country, Gelete was also the 2008 World Indoor 1,500m champion and 2006 World Cross Country champion. But when she won the 2017 Ethiopian World Championships 10,000m trials and was not selected for London, she turned to the marathon. Her results in the classic distance have been sublime.  

Her curriculum vitae includes a personal best time of 2:20:45 (2018 Dubai Marathon) and a splendid 3rd place finish in the 2019 Chicago marathon (2:20:55).  Dipping under 2 hours 20 minutes remains a tangible objective. 

This will be only the second time the 36-year-old star has raced in Canada. On her previous occasion in 2018 she set a Canadian All Comers’ marathon record of 2:22:17 in Ottawa, despite running with stomach cramps and completely alone for much of the race.  

That record was beaten by one second at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon by Kenya’s Magdalyne Masai in 2019. The pair will battle in Toronto. 

“My training is going well and I am so happy with my training,” Burka says from her home in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. The WhatsApp call had been delayed by a couple of hours when the lights went off during a power outage.  

“We have two months until the race and I’m just working hard,” she adds. “It is sometimes raining here. We look at the weather and choose training places. We are working hard in Sendafa, Entoto, Sululta, Arafat. We train in five or six different places.” 

Coached by Getamesay Molla, the group of elite runners she belongs to meet in those various locations all within half an hour of Addis by car. In a radical departure, Gelete even spent most of the month of July in Colorado Springs, Colorado where she joined Kenyan born US coach Haron Lagat. It is the rainy season in Ethiopia and heavy rains adversely affected the dirt roads back home.  

“It’s nice for training there,” she says of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. “I was with some friends in the US Army Athletics (group). Do you know Haron Lagat? I was with him working there in Colorado Springs before the marathon training.” 

Gelete had expected to race Ottawa earlier in May but although her Canadian visa was approved, she did not receive her passport in time to travel to Canada. After training for six months specifically for the race, the disappointment was enormous. It is not easy to train to peak for a specific marathon and then have to find an alternative. In any case, Ottawa is amongst the final spring marathons. 

“One week I was sick. I was so heartbroken,” she reveals with a smile. “I haven’t any business, my only business is working in athletics. I just focus on my running. A little bit I was angry because I worked so hard. It is not like track racing. 

“It was a big disappointment but sometimes you forget something that happened in life. I have forgotten it and now am only focused on Toronto.” 

Gelete comes from Kofele in Arsi district of south-central Ethiopia. It’s the same region from where national hero, Haile Gebrselassie, originates.   

Family is everything to her and currently her youngest sister together with her niece, Deborah, and nephew, Muse, share her home in Addis. After returning from Colorado, one of the first things she did was travel back to visit her mother and her other siblings in Shashamane, one of the main towns in Arsi. It is also known for its large Rastafarian community. 

A devoted Christian, Gelete is also a member of the 40-member choir at the Glorious Life Church in Addis. They sing in Amharic, Oromo and English at two weekly services. In addition, she is an usher at the church and so must attend meetings and choir practices when called. Her faith is important enough that following her 2018 Ottawa victory she sought out an Ethiopian church to attend.  

Given the news that Magdalyne Masai shaved a second off her Canadian All Comers record in 2019 – and will face her on the Toronto starting line – Gelete smiles. Asked whether Masai’s  2:22:16 standard will now be a target, she thinks for a moment. 

“You have to see in the race how you are feeling and also what she is feeling,” Gelete explains.  “In a race you think of records when your body feels ok. For now I am not sure. I will look inside the race for what I can do.” 

Ethiopians were overjoyed with the performance of their 2022 World Championships team in Eugene, Oregon. With 10 medals, Ethiopia finished second in the medal table behind the host USA. Seeing her compatriot Gotytom Gebreslase take the women’s marathon gold was extra special. 

“It is still in my head that I want to run under 2:20,” she says, “because you see the world championships I am so happy (Gotyom) ran 2:18.  After you see in championships they are running 2:18 then I think under 2:20 (is possible) if the body is ok and the weather is ok. And, if the others want to run a very good time.” 

Clearly this Ethiopian superstar has bold intentions for her future. Her race against Masai in this World Athletics Elite Label race is a tantalizing prospect. 

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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. 

Media Contact  

Kate Van Buskirk, Marketing and Communications Coordinator 

kate@canadarunningseries.com 

905-867-1117

 

Rory Linkletter Takes Aim at a Podium Finish at TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

By | Athletes, Canadian Athlete Announcements | No Comments

By: Paul Gains

After representing Canada at the 2022 World Championships in July, Rory Linkletter is brimming with newfound confidence and ready for even greater success. The 26-year-old Calgarian has now set his sights on the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, taking place on October 16, 2022. 

Linkletter raced to a personal best marathon of 2:10:24 in Eugene, Oregon, which earned him a credible 20th place in those World Championships. Apart from chasing a faster time, he is aiming for a Canadian Championship gold medal in Toronto.  

The TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon has earned a World Athletics Elite Label and serves as the official Athletics Canada National Marathon Championships.  

“That is one of the main reasons I chose Toronto over New York or some other fall marathon,” Linkletter revealed. “I liked a couple of things about it. Number one, I think the course is pretty quick. I have run it once before obviously. There is no part of it that I feel is really going to slow you down a ton.   

“The weather is more predictable than Chicago just because it’s a week later and it’s just a touch different climate. I want to try and win a national championship as well. I think I can run faster in Toronto and I think it’s a good setup to do so.” 

The three months between the World Championships and the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon don’t present a problem, he said, because he didn’t have a full marathon buildup prior to running that 2:10:24. 

Linkletter and his coach, Ryan Hall, the retired American half marathon record holder, had started preparations for racing on the track when Athletics Canada informed the athlete he had been selected to run in Eugene. Although he hadn’t run the qualifying standard (2:11:30), his world ranking earned him a last-minute place. That was a mere 45 days before the big day. 

“I was going to run the 5000m at the Harry Jerome Track Classic, but then the week of the meet I got an email from Athletics Canada saying I had made the team,” he explained. “So I was like, ‘Well I don’t want to turn down such an opportunity.’ I didn’t know what a six-week build would look like for a marathon, but Ryan and I decided this is a good opportunity. I was obviously pleased with how the race went and it gave me a lot of confidence that with a three-month build, I can get fitter and be a little more prepared.” 

Linkletter has been training with Hall since December 2021. He had formerly been a member of the Northern Arizona Elite group. Despite running a 2:12:54 personal best at the California International Marathon, however, he sought a change in coaching. 

“To be blunt, I just wasn’t running well and wanted to change some things up. I lost some confidence in myself,” he admitted. “In the US running scene, it’s a lot of group-based training. A lot of these groups are popping up like crazy and they are successful for many people. I definitely think there are a lot of pros to the group setting but I felt I needed to have a more individualized training.  

“I wanted to feel like I hired a coach, not ran for a team and was just a cog in the wheel. I wanted a little more say. That relationship with Ryan just made sense to me. I wanted somebody who was an athlete. I liked that a lot with my [Brigham Young University] coach, Ed Eyestone. I needed them to be in Flagstaff. I didn’t want to leave Flagstaff because I love it here.” 

Recently, Linkletter and his wife Jill, both student athletes at BYU, marked their third year living in the northern Arizona town. But a change in coaches wasn’t the only seismic shift in Linkletter’s recent past.   

In May 2022, Linkletter signed a sponsorship agreement with Puma Running. On July 31, 2021, the couple welcomed their son Jason into the world. He is named for Linkletter’s father who sadly passed away shortly before meeting his grandson. 

Although neither Jill nor Linkletter are Mormons—about 99% of BYU students are—they are Christians. This was another factor in choosing Hall to be his coach. 

“I have always been a huge fan of Ryan,” he continued, “because he was such an amazing athlete himself. It doesn’t hurt that we have similar personalities: very type A, very driven, very strong Christian belief system. There were a lot of things in my mind where I thought this makes sense.” 

Returning to Toronto, where in 2019 he finished 16th in 2:16:42, he is a much more experienced athlete. Seven months ago, he set a new Canadian half marathon record in Houston (1:01:08) and in May he also finished third at the Canadian 10,000m Championships (28:26.27). He is only too aware that precious few Canadians have made the podium at the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, such is the quality of the field.  

Reid Coolsaet finished third in 2011. Cam Levins set his first Canadian marathon record of 2:09:25 while finishing fourth in 2018, while Trevor Hofbauer ran his personal best 2:09:51 to come home seventh in 2019. Hofbauer will be on the start line with Linkletter on October 16.  

“I haven’t seen the field, but I know from years past what kind of fitness we are going to be trying to get into,” Linkletter declared. “I think when Cam [Levins] ran 2:09:25, he was fourth, right? Just based on years past and what the race usually produces, I think I will be in that range.  

“You never know who is going show up and what kind of day it’s going to be. All you can do is be as good as you can. But I would like to believe that on the best day, I am not only competing for a Canadian title but also an overall podium finish.” 

 

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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. 

Media Contact  

Kate Van Buskirk, Marketing and Communications Coordinator 

kate@canadarunningseries.com 

905-867-1117

 

Defending Champion Magdalyne Masai Returns to TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

By | Athletes, Canadian Athlete Announcements | No Comments

By: Paul Gains

Kenya’s Magdalyne Masai hasn’t run a marathon in three years but that’s no cause for alarm. Her last effort resulted in a magnificent Canadian All Comers record of 2:22:16 on the streets of Toronto. 

The 28-year-old returns to the scene of her greatest achievement for the 2022 TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 16 as the defending champion. In the interim, she also gave birth to her first child, a son Jake Jr, with husband Jake Robertson, the New Zealander who was 5th in the 2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon.  

Returning to competition is a delightful dream. 

“I am really excited because that was my last race that I did—until now,” she explains with a smile. “I lost (races) with the pandemic and now with Jake Jr. My training has been going well. We have got a lady who helps us take care of Jake Jr. when we are tired because we need to nap sometimes. And also, Jake Sr. has been helping out. He takes care of him when I am tired. So we get to help each other by sharing duties. 

“We do have family nearby, but they also have their own children, or they are working and they have family life.” 

Masai comes from a long line of great Kenyan 10,000m runners. Her older sister, Linet, was the 2008 Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist and 2009 world champion while eldest brother Moses was 4th at those Beijing Olympics. He went on to earn the bronze at the 2009 World Championships. Another brother, Dennis, won the 2010 World Junior Championships 10,000m in Moncton, New Brunswick. 

Like runners across the globe, Magz, as she is affectionately known, was severely impacted by the Covid pandemic. The postponement of the 2020 Boston Marathon, for instance, was one significant blow. 

“It was a shame,” she concedes. “Because I was supposed to be in Boston in 2020 and I thought I had an opportunity of doing well in a major marathon which could have changed our lives. But things did happen that were out of our control so we just lived with it.” 

A hefty appearance fee plus the opportunity to win prize money awaited her in Boston, thanks to her great Toronto result.  But the race was postponed from its usual April date until October. That called for a change in plans. They flew to Jake’s hometown of Mount Maunganui,  

200 kilometres south-east of Auckland, to wait out the pandemic. 

“We were in New Zealand for the first six months of the pandemic, so I was training normally with Jake and with Zane, my brother-in-law,” she reveals. “Then with a couple of friends we met in New Zealand. New Zealand wasn’t really affected so life was kind of moving along normally. So we were able to move on with our daily lives. There were small restrictions. 

“The problem was we were training with no goal which was hard sometimes. You would go two weeks, one month, and then hit those low points and then go, ‘What am I doing this for?’ There was darkness.” 

Magz laughs at her words. Now, she is happy to report, things are going well as she prepares for Toronto. 

“It is getting exciting. I am starting to feel ‘ok’ again,” she reveals.  

“I don’t really start a week with a goal. I just train and then at the end of the week, sit down and count up how much I have been doing. So far, the most has been 145 km (in a week). Mainly I go with the feeling of the body. So far, my longest run two weeks ago was 40 km. It felt really good, and it has given me confidence. It gives you the feeling of the marathon.” 

Besides maintaining her fitness during the pandemic—and raising her newborn son—Magz took on responsibility for the housing project she and Jake started three years ago. Initially it was to be a single house for foreign runners to live in when they travel to Iten for altitude training.  

“It has been built and we have built three more houses,” she reveals with excitement. “When we got back from New Zealand and I was expecting Jake Jr., I wasn’t training seriously. So, I was training and in charge of the building. They are next door to our house.” 

If they appear to have extremely busy lives, it’s not surprising they have outside interests which help distract them from their work. They both follow NBA basketball. In fact, Jake attended a Toronto Raptors game two nights before his 5th place finish in the 2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon, which obviously had a positive effect on his performance.  

And, like many of her compatriots, Magz is also a keen supporter of Manchester United Football Club—something she has in common with Toronto Waterfront Marathon race director, Alan Brookes.  

“I still follow Manchester United but they have been awful,” she says smiling. She buries her head in her hands before adding, “I have been following them but, honestly, how can they finish 6th (in the 2021-2022 Premier League standings) with Cristiano Ronaldo? What a good player.” 

It is too early to affix a goal for her upcoming TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon appearance. Marathons are unpredictable. But with training going well and with her determination to keep improving, her Canadian All Comers record could fall. Actually, racing again after being starved of competition for three years might prove to be the strongest motivator. 

  

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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. 

Media Contact  

Kate Van Buskirk, Marketing and Communications Coordinator 

kate@canadarunningseries.com 

905-867-1117

 

Kenya’s Philemon Rono Returns to TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

By | Athletes, Canadian Athlete Announcements | 3 Comments

By: Paul Gains

Philemon Rono rises early at the NN Running Team training camp in Kaptagat, Kenya and joins his training partners on their morning run. The 31-year-old Kenyan has one objective as he trudges along the dusty roads at dusk: to win the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 16, 2022. 

On three previous occasions, he has crossed the finish line of this World Athletics Elite Label race victorious, most recently in 2019 when he set a new Canadian All Comers’ record of 2:05:00. Three other men finished within thirteen seconds of him in what was arguably the most exciting race in North American history. 

“I ran a course record,” he says grinning broadly during a WhatsApp video call. “It was just amazing for me. My aim when I come to Toronto is to do another fantastic job and to be known as the ‘King of Toronto.’” 

Rono laughs at his joke. Training, on the other hand, is quite serious. Amongst the NN squad are some of Kenya’s greatest distance runners, most notably the double Olympic marathon champion and world record holder, Eliud Kipchoge. The group lives at the rustic camp through the week then returns to their families on weekends. During the worst of the Covid pandemic, he stayed at home 15km away, meeting up with his teammates for long runs. It seemed to work.  

He ran his second fastest time in Valencia 2:05:37 two years ago and then finished 6th in the 2022 Seoul Marathon (2:07:03) this past April. 

“There was no problem here we got medication and vaccine and boosters. There was no problem with vaccination,” he recalls.  

“In Kenya it was not too bad, not like Europe. We trained at home. We met at group training. We woke up early in the morning and we would say, ‘We can meet somewhere for training.’ There were a lot of challenges but we continued with training.” 

During the pandemic, he and his wife, Abigail Jelimo, welcomed another son to the family. They called him Clinton. Their eldest son, Clifford, will be five in September and is named after one of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon athlete coordinators whose sense of humour Rono admired. 

The money he earns from his international marathon races is invested in his family farm. He has sheep and goats and grows maize and potatoes. 

“I am a large-scale farmer and things are changing,” he says proudly. “Things are improving. I have eight acres now. My family is there looking after the farm and I employ people to look after the items there.” 

Life in the camp contributes to the success of the athletes who all regard Kipchoge as their inspiration. Rono says they watch what he does, eat what he eats, and have adopted his strict discipline. But there is time for fun and competition. English Premier League football is starting up again and they all have their favourite clubs.  

During a previous visit to Toronto Rono, admitted he has followed Chelsea FC since they had African superstar Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast) on their roster for a great part of the early 2000’s. So, does he still support them? 

“Of course, of course! I will not leave Chelsea,” he declares laughing. “Eliud supports Tottenham. [Three-time World Half Marathon Champion, Geoffrey] Kamworor is supporting Manchester United. That is when everybody is supporting these teams and we say, ‘My team will win.’”  

Rono is looking forward to returning to Toronto. He has fond memories even after suffering an accident while warming up for his 2016 victory. On that occasion, a barrier he was using to stretch came crashing down on his head. After consulting his agent and a medic he went ahead and won the race in 2:08:26.  

Shopping at the Eaton Centre was another memorable event. On his last visit he took home an electric razor among other items which are hard to find in rural Kenya. This will be his fifth visit to Canada’s largest city. Besides his three victories, he finished 9th at this race in 2018. Now he reports his training is going very well and he has his eye on new records in Toronto. 

“The preparations are going very well,” Rono states. “We usually go training early in the morning at 6 a.m. when there is no traffic and then again at 4 p.m. in the evening. This week we our longest run is 30 km, next week the longest is 40 km. I run around 150 km to 200 km during the buildup.  

“So long as the weather is okay, there is no problem with the time. Time will adjust itself because when you train well, 2:04 is no problem. But when the weather is a problem, then 2:06, 2:07. But when the weather is okay? Maybe another course record.” 

In the next three months, we will learn if Philemon Rono himself feels he has earned the title ‘King of Toronto.’  There are many in the running community who have already anointed him. 

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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. 

Media Contact  

Kate Van Buskirk, Marketing and Communications Coordinator 

kate@canadarunningseries.com 

905-867-1117

 

Malindi Elmore to Race 2022 TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

By | Athletes, Canadian Athlete Announcements | 2 Comments

By: Paul Gains

Enticed by the opportunity to lower her Canadian marathon record, Malindi Elmore will race the 2022 TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 16, 2022. Elmore smashed the record with her 2:24:50 clocking at the 2020 Houston Marathon in what was only her second time competing at the distance.  

Although the Kelowna, B.C. mother of two is widely respected—enough to receive an invitation to run the 2022 Boston Marathon—it is easy to overlook the fact she has run only four marathons. Toronto will be her first in Canada. 

“I definitely feel I haven’t had my best race yet,” she explains. “That’s why I am excited to do Toronto. I think it’s going to line up with the perfect conditions to put together a fantastic build and have a great opportunity to run really well. 

“It’s a home race—although it’s 5,000 kilometres away—and has a strong tradition of marathoners coming through. So that is pretty special. I know that it’s flat and has the potential to be very fast on the day. And I know Alan (Brookes) puts on a great race. So, all those factors are compelling reasons for me wanting to race it.” 

The TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon has earned the distinguished World Athletics Elite Label and always attracts a strong international field, which is another reason for Elmore’s commitment. The course record of 2:22:16, which is also the Canadian women’s all comers record, is held by Kenya’s Magdalyne Masai. It was set in 2019. 

Not quite a year ago, Elmore beat the heat and humidity of Sapporo, Japan to finish 9th in the 2021 Olympic Games. Only Sylvia Ruegger amongst Canadian women has ever finished higher. What was most remarkable was that Elmore’s first Olympic experience came at the 2004 Athens Games where she failed to advance from the first round of the 1,500m. 

“It was really special to go back and finish in the top ten in the Olympics,” she says of her marathon achievement. “And, in a way, kind of redeem myself, seventeen years later, for the performance I would have liked to have in 2004. I definitely did not harbour any expectations of being a marathoner when I was running 1,500ms. I wanted to run 800m and break two minutes. That was my goal. I thought the 5,000m was too many laps. I am pretty shocked that my mind and body have come around to being a distance runner in the end.” 

The invitation to race Boston came in following the Olympics and she enjoyed everything apart from the legendary hills along the course. Yet, she earned an 11th place finish in a time of 2:27:58. 

“I thought, ‘Oh, I am from B.C., and I am used to hills. It won’t be that big a deal,’” she recalls. “But I found it beat me up really quickly even after only 9 or 10km. I felt the toll of the ups and downs—the relentless rollers—it was hard to get into a rhythm. It was really different than Houston and Tokyo (Sapporo) which were flat courses. I knew what to expect, what my pace should be. This was really gruelling when you threw in the change in terrain. I wasn’t thrilled with my performance. I guess I did the best I could do on the day.” 

Coached exclusively by her husband, Graham Hood—the former Canadian international 1,500m runner who was 7th in the 1997 World Championships in Athens—she admits her build-ups for marathon racing are still evolving as she looks ahead to the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon. And at the age of 42, she must be more careful that she takes on workouts she can handle without injury risk. There are other factors younger marathoners might not have to encounter. 

“All week, I have had a kid home sick,” Elmore reveals before adding with a smile, “I tell you, the best investment anyone can ever make is a treadmill. The kids don’t mind they get to watch TV while I am on the treadmill. It’s a win-win.” 

Most of her 150 kilometres a week is done alone, although Canadian Olympic triathlete, Joanna Brown, occasionally jumps in for a long run. Another sometime training partner is 2019 Canadian Marathon Champion Trevor Hofbauer, who now lives two kilometres away and will run with her on his easy days. If all goes according to plan, she will be in the shape to achieve specific goals. 

“I do want to put together a really good buildup for Toronto. I would like to be able to get to the fitness level I had leading into Boston and Tokyo (Sapporo), and I hope that would put me below my Canadian record and PB, and that would be really cool,” she allows. 

“Another goal, absolutely, I want to get on the podium. I would love to win a race. It’s fun to be the first person across the line.”  

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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. 

Media Contact  

Kate Van Buskirk, Marketing and Communications Coordinator 

kate@canadarunningseries.com 

905-867-1117

 

Trevor Hofbauer to Run TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

By | Athletes, Canadian Athlete Announcements | No Comments

By: Paul Gains

World class marathon running returns to Toronto after a three-year Covid-induced hiatus with the 2022 TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon set for October 16, 2022.

Although the title sponsor, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), is new, some things remain unchanged. The event has earned a ‘World Athletics Elite Label’ which will ensure top class fields from across the globe offering Canada’s best a tough competitive opportunity.

Three years ago, Trevor Hofbauer captured the Canadian Marathon Championship title at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, securing a place on the Canadian Olympic team bound for Japan. In doing so, he became only the second Canadian to beat 2 hours and 10 minutes. Organizers are delighted to announce that the 30-year-old has accepted an invitation to return.

Hofbauer was 7th overall in 2019 with his 2:09:51 personal best, while Kenya’s Philemon Rono set a Canadian all comer’s standard of 2:05:00. Hofbauer relishes the challenge.

“This will be my third time doing Toronto [Waterfront Marathon],” he admits. “My memory is quite strong when it comes to courses and race experiences so I can visualise the entire Toronto Waterfront Marathon course right now as we are sitting here talking.

“I know what to expect. I know what I have to do in my training to prepare for the race. I think there is an advantage to having that experience.”

While his Olympic experience didn’t go according to plan—he finished 48th in Sapporo with a below par 2:19:57 clocking—he has set his sights on the Paris Olympic Games two years hence. Hofbauer is not one to dwell on the past so his reaction to being asked for his thoughts on Sapporo is predictable.

“Do we have to go through it?” he says laughing. “There were a bunch of things going on in my life at that time that kind of just made my Olympic experience difficult. I am really keen and eager to make the next Olympic team and work that out and have that moment to my satisfaction.

“I had a huge amount of support from my community in Calgary and even across Canada. So, for me to represent Canada at the Olympics was mostly for the community that put resources, belief, time, and effort and saw the potential in me. I thank them for that. Even though I didn’t live up to my personal standards a lot of people were proud of me even just completing the race.”

He remembers sitting on the bus from Sapporo to Tokyo’s Narita airport following the Olympic marathon. Posting his thoughts on Instagram while he began his long journey home, he began to think of ways to redeem himself.

“I took a look at the races coming up in the spring and there’s no bigger marathon in the world than Boston,” he declares. “In my head, I kind of circled the date on the calendar and said, ‘I am going to make Boston happen and that’s going to be my redemption for the Olympics.’”

On April 18, 2022, he finished 15th in Boston, running a time of 2:10:52. The experience was another positive in his successful marathon career. In Beantown, he shared time with fellow Canadian Olympians Malindi Elmore and Natasha Wodak, and was delighted to see coaches Trent Stellingwerf and Graham Hood on the course cheering the Canadians on.

The ‘redemption’ must be credited to some life changes Hofbauer made after the Olympics. In October 2021 he began working with BC Endurance coach, Richard Lee. A few weeks later he moved from his home in Calgary to British Columbia where he has friends and family he wanted to spend more time with. And he has enrolled in the University of British Columbia, Okanagan four-year psychology course. With some collegiate eligibility remaining, he will run cross country for UBC Okanagan under coach Malindi Elmore, the Canadian women’s marathon record holder.

“I was talking with Malindi in Sapporo about wanting to go to school there and she did a good job selling the area,” he jokes. “Okanagan had a program I was looking for. I wanted to be close to Vancouver but I didn’t want to be in Vancouver. And it’s not too far away from Calgary.”

Although he is a member of BC Endurance Project, he still does most of his training alone. It has been that way since he took up marathoning.

“It’s a big stress relief for me,” he acknowledges. “It’s my quiet time of the day—my escape from the world.

“None of that changes from Calgary but I will be training with the UBC Okanagan cross country team when I do go to school. We have had some training on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which I have been attending, so I have had interaction with the group.”

Coach Richard Lee will call the shots. It was his program which Hofbauer followed in the lead up to Boston. Clearly, he has respect for the coach.

“We get along really well. We are both laid back and the way we communicate with each other works,” Hofbauer says. “I have full trust in him. He tells me what to do and I go out there and do it.”

The 14-week training program he followed for Boston will likely be altered somewhat. Boston’s famed course meant a lot of time was spent training on hills. At the moment, they are taking it a week at a time, but since Toronto is far less hilly Hofbauer expects to be doing more speed work. And what if Lee surprises him with double his usual mileage?

“Whatever the boss says goes!” he says with a smile.

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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.

Media Contact

Kate Van Buskirk, Marketing and Communications Coordinator 

kate@canadarunningseries.com 

905-867-1117

 

READY, SET, RUN…FOR A CAUSE THAT MOVES YOU AT THE 2022 TCS TORONTO WATERFRONT MARATHON CHARITY CHALLENGE!

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TCS Charity Challenge officially launches to raise funds for over 100 official Charity Partners this fall

TORONTO, ON (June 6, 2022) — Runners, walkers, and supporters alike will be brought together on October 16, 2022 for the return of the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon (TTWM), with a marathon, half marathon, and 5K events in Toronto. As of today, participants can choose to run for a cause and raise funds for one of over 100 official Charity Partners that are making an impact in our communities.

The TCS Charity Challenge unites the spirit of runners with a unique fundraising program that supports local charities. With an exciting new title sponsor for the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon this year comes new feature charities including Trees for Life and Trans Canada Trail, in light of TCS’s commitment to technology and sustainability. A full list of official Charity Partners is available on the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon website.

“We are thrilled to be launching the Charity Challenge once again this year,” said Charlotte Brookes, Canada Running Series National Event Director. “We all run for different reasons. Race day, and the months leading up to it, are that much more exciting when you’re running for what moves you. We look forward to giving back through the sport of running each year and we can’t wait to see how much our incredible community will raise this year.”

The TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon is a staple running event for Toronto, and Canada, attracting 25,000 participants annually from across the world and bringing hundreds of millions of dollars into the city. Since the inception of the Charity Challenge in 2003, the Toronto Waterfront Marathon has helped raise over $48 million for a diverse range of charities, bringing together participants and spectators from across the Greater Toronto Area, and the world, to celebrate incredible milestones and athletic achievements.

Registration and fundraising for the TCS Charity Challenge officially opens today.

How to get involved:

  1. Register online for one of the marathon, half marathon, or 5K events.
  2. Fundraise by signing up for the TCS Charity Challenge and selecting the charity you would like to raise funds for.
  3. Donate by visiting the TCS Charity Challenge website and selecting the official charity you would like to donate to.
  4. Support the TCS Charity Challenge, our Charity Partners, and participants by following along on social media and using the hashtags #chooseTOrun and #TCSCharityChallenge, and coming out on October 16 to cheer on your friends and family!

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About the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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, visit www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com.

Media Contact

Emma Hunt, Sutherland Corp

emma@sutherlandcorp.ca

Sam O’Neill, Canada Running Series

sam@canadarunningseries.com

 

Athletic Brewing Co. becomes joins the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Vancouver Half Marathon as NA Beer Partner

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The leading non-alcoholic craft brewery will bring their popular non-alcoholic beers to the World-Renowned Races in 2022.

[May 10, 2022 – Toronto, CAN] – Canada Running Series (CRS) today announces its partnership with craft NA brewery, Athletic Brewing Company, as the official non-alcoholic beer partner of the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, October 16th, and the Vancouver Half Marathon, June 26th. The new deal promises to bring some of Athletic Brewing Company’s flagship non-alcoholic beers to the finish lines of CRS’ two biggest races, allowing participants to celebrate their accomplishments without the risk of a hangover.  Participants will have a number of opportunities to try the beer in advance of their race, including at scheduled local training runs, through access to exclusive discounts, by attending the Toronto Waterfront Marathon Expo or by adding a pack to their purchase when they sign up for the race.

“We’re delighted to welcome Athletic Brewing Company to Canada Running Series,” said CRS President Alan Brookes. “Their commitment to sustainability, to innovation and excellence, and most especially to healthy lifestyles, make them a perfect partner in our continued quest to build community through running. Their award winning, non-alcoholic craft beers will greatly enhance our celebratory, post-race experience and are guaranteed to make our events even more tasty than before. Cheers to an Athletic!”

With standing global partnerships with IRONMAN and Spartan Race, Athletic Brewing Company has a deep-rooted commitment to the world of outdoor sport and adventure. Athletic Brewing Company, the leading non-alcoholic craft brewer in the U.S., has recently announced the 2022 submission period of its outdoors-focused give back program, Two for the Trails. As the largest donation program of its kind in the outdoors space, Athletic Brewing Company is pledging one million dollars to grantee winners and other partnerships of Two for the Trails in 2022. 

“Athletic Brewing Company is deeply committed to positively impacting our customers’ health, fitness, and happiness which makes this partnership a perfect fit with Canada Running Series”, said Athletic Brewing Company CEO, Bill Shufelt. “We can’t wait to get some Athletic brews in participant’s hands as they cross the finish line to celebrate their achievements on race day in both Toronto and Vancouver!”

Registration is open now for both events. The Vancouver Half Marathon is set for June 26, 2022, and the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon will take place on October 16, 2022. With hybrid events here for the foreseeable future, each event will offer all distances virtually as well.

For more information on Canada Running Series events, please visit www.canadarunningseries.com

For more information on Athletic Brewing Company, please visit: www.athleticbrewing.ca.

Press Contact: Jess Fiaschetti | Jess@OutsidePR.com | 415.565.9530

About Canada Running Series

Canada Running Series is Canada’s premier road race series, offering seven annual events nationwide. Since 2017, CRS’s flagship event, the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, has served as the Athletics Canada National Marathon Championship race and has doubled as the Olympic trials. In 2021, CRS raised $4.8 million for 260 local charities through the Charity Challenge.

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.

About Athletic Brewing Company

Named as TIME’s “100 Most Influential Companies of 2022” as well as Fast Company Magazine’s “Brands That Matter” in 2021, Athletic Brewing Company is reimagining beer for the modern, active adult. Their great-tasting craft brews provide a refreshing taste of craft beer, without the alcohol or the hangover. With custom breweries on the east and west coasts, their lineup has earned accolades throughout the industry, even against full-strength beers, including the 2021 US Open Beer Awards Gold medal for Run Wild. Additionally, Athletic Brewing’s “Two for the Trails” initiative donates 2% of all sales to trail and park cleanups and maintenance. Plus, as a part of their IMPACT Program, 1% of revenue goes to non-profit organizations that support positive impact and opportunity from the ground up in their communities. Athletic Brewing’s full portfolio of flagships, seasonal, and specialty brews is available for purchase on its website, www.athleticbrewing.com, as well as the company’s hop-infused sparkling water, DayPack, and subscription offering – The Athletic Club. 

TCS Becomes Title Sponsor and Technology Partner of Toronto Waterfront Marathon Through 2026

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Tata Consultancy Services and Canada Running Series to Transform In-person and Virtual Runner Experience with New Official Hybrid Race App and Boost Sustainability Efforts

TORONTO | MUMBAI, January 18, 2022: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS) has partnered with Canada Running Series (CRS) to become the new title sponsor and official IT services and technology consulting partner of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Virtual Race through November 2026.

This news follows TCS’ renewal of its title and technology sponsorship of the TCS New York City Marathon, as well as becoming the new title and technology sponsor of the TCS London Marathon this year.

Soumen Roy, Executive Director and Country Head, TCS Canada, said, “Running a marathon makes you believe that you can accomplish anything. We can’t wait to channel the spirit of building on belief by enhancing the Toronto Waterfront Marathon experience with innovative technology and trailblazing sustainability initiatives in our local communities.”

TCS and CRS aim to modernize marathon running in Canada through a new official race app. It will offer a first-of-its-kind environmental impact calculator that will enable runners and spectators to track and offset their environmental impact. TCS will also work with CRS to create a hybrid and immersive race experience for all runners and spectators around the globe.

The official race app will offer unlimited tracking of both in-person and virtual runners on the same racecourse map and let spectators create digital cheer cards to share messages of encouragement on social media. Runners will be able to share a link to friends and family that automatically initiates the app download with them already selected to be tracked. In addition, the app will incorporate augmented reality features that became popular during the pandemic to support both in-person and virtual runners, along with offering surprise-and-delight experiences.

We’re excited to begin our partnership with TCS and join a family of global, leading-edge marathons,” said Charlotte Brookes, National Event Director of CRS & the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. “It’s a unique opportunity to take our World Athletics Gold Label event to the next level and beyond, to greatly enhance the runner experience through innovative technology, to showcase athletic excellence, and to have a broader impact in building a healthy, caring, and sustainable Toronto. The new TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon race app will be a symbol of our collaboration that will connect, sustain and inspire us all whether we are participating in-person or virtually, from anywhere around the globe.” 

TCS will also donate 32,000 person-hours toward helping the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon become the most sustainable race in Canada. CRS’ goal is to achieve Evergreen Certification by 2022. When achieved, it will be the only race in Canada to attain this level of environmental certification from the Council of Responsible Sport.

Expanding on this commitment to technology and sustainability, TCS and CRS will be adding two new Charity Partners: Trans Canada Trail and Trees for Life Canada. Runners will have the opportunity to donate money towards Trans Canada Trails’ new AccessNow partnership that is creating accessibility mapping across its more than 28,000 km of National Trails, or Trees for Life’s tree planting projects along the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon racecourse.

It is great news that the Toronto Waterfront Marathon will be greener next year,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “New tools will help participants to quantify and reduce their environmental impact while getting outside and enjoying the shores of Lake Ontario, and I commend TCS for their commitment to reducing the footprint of this flagship event.”

Registration for the 2022 TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon will open January 25, 2022.

About Tata Consultancy Services

Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, consulting and business solutions organization that has been partnering with many of the world’s largest businesses in their transformation journeys for over 50 years. TCS offers a consulting-led, cognitive powered, integrated portfolio of business, technology and engineering services and solutions. This is delivered through its unique Location Independent Agile™ delivery model, recognized as a benchmark of excellence in software development.

A part of the Tata group, India’s largest multinational business group, TCS has over 556,000 of the world’s best-trained consultants in 46 countries. The company generated consolidated revenues of US $22.2 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021 and is listed on the BSE (formerly Bombay Stock Exchange) and the NSE (National Stock Exchange) in India. TCS’ proactive stance on climate change and award-winning work with communities across the world have earned it a place in leading sustainability indices such as the MSCI Global Sustainability Index and the FTSE4Good Emerging Index. For more information, visit www.tcs.com.

About the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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 national marathon championship race 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, visit www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com.

For media inquiries:
Sam O’Neill, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
sam@canadarunningseries.com 

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K Returns to In-Person Racing with Sold-Out Field

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Leslie Sexton and Ben Flanagan win Canadian 10K Championships at Canada Running Series’ first race since the start of the pandemic.

TORONTO, ONTARIO, October 18, 2021 — The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K (STWM) took place on Sunday with a sold-out field of 5,000 participants, marking a welcomed return to in-person racing with Canada Running Series’ first in-person race since the beginning of the pandemic.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be returning to in-person racing with the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K, and to be partnering with Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend to host the Athletics Canada 10K Championships,” said Charlotte Brookes, National Event Director at Canada Running Series. “Even more, we’re honoured to be running for a cause, raising nearly $2 million so far for 151 local charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, putting us on track to raise $3 million this year.”

While Scottish star Sarah Inglis is the official winner of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 10K with a time of 31:59, Vancouver’s Leslie Sexton claimed the Canadian 10K Championships title in 32:04, taking 1:13 off her personal best. Sexton was followed by Cleo Boyd (33:21) and Natasha Wodak (33:33). Ben Flanagan impressed in his 10K debut, finishing in 28:42, and was closely followed by Olympians Lucas Bruchet (28:49) and Benjamin Preisner (28:53). Three-time Paralympian, Josh Cassidy, took first place in the wheelchair race in 21:50, an incredible redemption after being left off the Tokyo 2020 team.

“I’m super happy Sarah [Inglis] was in the race even though she wasn’t eligible for the Championship,” said Sexton of chasing Inglis throughout the race. “She was always close enough that I could see her and feel like I was chasing her, or at least just trying to hang on and keep the gap about the same. Having her pull me along was awesome. I ran a PB by like a minute and I’ve got her to thank in part for that.”

After spending some time racing in the US, securing the 10K Championships title on Canadian soil was incredibly special for Kitchener-native Flanagan, but it was not without a challenge. Bruchet and Preisner stayed close behind throughout, ensuring a competitive race for Flanagan’s 10K debut as they chased down the title.

“I’ve got a lot of experience with the 10K on the track, but I’ve never run a 10K on the road, so it’s nice to have an official PR and to dip under 29 minutes,” said Flanagan. “It was a very elite field, and everyone wanted it today so I knew it was going to be a pretty hard fight to the line. And that’s what ended up happening.”

Since 2003, $45 million has been raised as part of STWM’s Scotiabank Charity Challenge. STWM’s 2021 Scotiabank Charity Challenge is accepting donations as part of the challenge until November 15, 2021. Scotiabank pays for all related transaction and credit card fees, allowing participating charities to keep 100 percent of the proceeds raised.

To ensure the health and safety of participants, staff, volunteers, vendors, and media, verification of full vaccination was required to gain access to the race area. Staggered start times funnelled 50 waves of 100 people each across the start line to ensure social distancing on the course.

2021 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K Results

10K Wheelchair

  1. Josh Cassidy, 21:50

10K Women

  1. Sarah Inglis, 31:59
  2. Leslie Sexton [top Canadian], 32:04
  3. Cleo Boyd, 33:21
  4. Natasha Wodak, 33:33
  5. Alexandra Lucki, 33:57

10K Men

  1. Ben Flanagan, 28:42
  2. Lucas Bruchet, 28:49
  3. Benjamin Preisner, 28:53
  4. Justin Kent, 29:03
  5. Jeremy Coughler, 29:04

To see a list of charities involved in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge and to donate, please visit the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon website.

For additional highlights and race results, please visit www.stwm.ca.

Twitter and Instagram hashtags: #TOwaterfront42K, #MoveForwardTO, #runCRS

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About the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank 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 national marathon championship race and has doubled as the Olympic trials. During the 2020 event, participants raised over $2.96 million for 163 community charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge. In 2021, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will host a 10K along Toronto’s scenic lakeshore, the first in-person race for Canada Running Series since the pandemic began, which will also double as the Athletics Canada 10K Championships in partnership with Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend.

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. For more information, visit: www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com.

About Athletics Canada

Athletics Canada is the national sport governing body for track and field, para athletics, cross-country running, and road running. Its purpose is to support high performance athletics excellence at the world level, and to provide leadership in developmental athletics. Athletics Canada is a not for profit, charitable organization operating under a board of directors elected by provincial / territorial members. For more information, visit: athletics.ca.

About the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend

The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend is Canada’s largest running and walking festival with six races, including the Ottawa Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, 2K and Kids Marathon, as well as the Lumberjack, Voyageur or Bytown distance challenges. In 2021, runners and walkers in the virtual event raised a record-breaking $1,064,163.58 for local and national charities through the Charity Challenge. The 2022 Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend will take place May 28-29.

The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend was named Event of the Year at the 2019 Canadian Tourism Awards, and in 2020, its title sponsor Tamarack Homes won the Sport Tourism Canada’s Canadian Sport Event Sponsorship Initiative of the Year Award. The event is one of only two running events in Canada to host a World Athletics (formerly IAAF) Gold Label Marathon, and is host to Athletics Canada’s Canadian 10K Championships. For more information or to register, visit: www.runottawa.ca.

Media Contact:

Sam O’Neill
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
sam@canadarunningseries.com