Dunfee Brothers Adam and Olympic Medalist Evan to Compete at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K

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Photo credit: Mark Bates

Canada’s fastest race walker challenges brother to race in October.

TORONTO, ON, September 23, 2021 — Olympic bronze medalist, Evan Dunfee, has confirmed his entry in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K on October 17, 2021, and has laid down a challenge with his brother, Adam Dunfee. The race, doubling as the Athletics Canada 10K Championships, will see the brothers compete for the first time since 2017.

Hailing from Richmond, British Columbia, the Dunfee brothers’ sibling rivalry began at a young age and has continued through to adulthood. After watching his older brother win a medal in his first race walking competition at age 13, 10-year-old Evan was inspired to take up the sport. He won his debut race and has not looked back since. Crediting Adam as the reason for getting into race walking, Evan is eager to fuel the competition that began in early childhood.

“We’ve always wanted to race each other,” Evan said. “This seemed like a fantastic opportunity where I think we’re pretty evenly matched, so it makes it kind of fun and adds an element that people can relate to.”

As a longtime sports-minded family, it is not unheard of to see the brothers at the same competition — albeit for different reasons. Adam, who works as a sports broadcaster, called the Harry Jerome Track Classic this past June when 30-year-old Evan Dunfee set the 10,000m Canadian national record at the race walk event with a time of 38 minutes 39.72 seconds.

Evan is slated to race walk the 10K course this October in Toronto while Adam runs. True to their competitive nature, the Olympian’s goal to cross the finish line in under 41 minutes may be second only to his primary focus of claiming victory over his brother. As the event draws near, the siblings remain in talks of how to make the event as much fun as possible, and what will be at stake for the competitive brothers.

“I think my biggest concern is just making the event fun, and providing that value back to the event,” said Dunfee. “I’m a little bit concerned about how my body’s going to be fit enough in four weeks to race 10km…but I’m confident that my body knows how to do that.”

Following a well-needed break after capturing the Olympic bronze in dramatic fashion in the 50km race walk at Tokyo 2020 with a time of 3:50:59, Evan is getting back to training. With the pandemic limiting travel and access to races, Dunfee has completed the majority of his training over the past two years at his home base in Richmond, British Columbia.

“I’m mostly on my own,” Dunfee said of his training method. Aside from his Sunday morning 40-45km training walks with his coach of 20 years, Gerry Dragomir, Evan typically logs his training solo, appreciating whenever he can convince a friend to run with him. “It’s a good chance to catch up with people…If you combine those things and find time where you can do that, it’s perfect.”

When he is not training, the athlete with a heart of gold is focused on his mission “to create value in [his] community.” As a longtime KidSport BC ambassador, Dunfee is working to wrap up his fundraiser in support of the organization, which raised money through the sales of a special edition box of Kraft Dinner featuring his image. Unsatisfied with settling on the $7,000 raised through the initial 150 signature boxes, Evan’s competitive nature triumphed, and he was able to help raise the full $10,000 that Kraft Heinz Canada agreed to match — resulting in a total donation of some $20,000 to the non-profit.

As far as his Kraft Dinner preference goes, Evan is a self-proclaimed traditionalist — adding only ketchup and hotdogs — and is confident that his cooking skills surpass his brother’s. While Evan has not confirmed any existing bets with Adam leading into the event, he is certain that this race is just “the next installment of probably what will end up being a lifelong competition.”

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Media interested in covering the STWM 10K can register for accreditation here. All media must receive advance accreditation to gain access to the in-person event on October 17th.

For more information:

Jenna Pettinato, Manager of Communications
jenna@canadarunningseries.com

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 Run Ottawa.

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: https://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/

About Athletics Canada

Athletics Canada is the national sport governing body for track and field, para athletics, crosscountry 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: https://athletics.ca/

About Run Ottawa

Run Ottawa is the National Capital Region’s premiere running organization and the organizers of Canada’s most popular multi-day running event, The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. For more information, visit: https://www.runottawa.ca/

Ben Flanagan to Challenge Olympians at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K

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Photo credit: Reebok

By Paul Gains

TORONTO, ON, September 21, 2021 — “It’s partly a no brainer,” Ben Flanagan said, confirming he will run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K on October 17th and thereby challenge for the concurrently held Canadian 10K title.

“I love the 10K, I love the roads, and I love running in Canada so it’s a beautiful trifecta for me. I am making sure I can get my body in the right place to set myself up for another really important season with the World [Athletic] Championships next summer.”

Since his inspiring 2018 NCAA 10,000m victory for the University of Michigan, Flanagan, 26, has competed professionally for the Reebok Boston Track Club, which, despite its name, is based in the hills of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Last month, he won the renowned seven-mile Falmouth Road Race for the second time in four years, which went a long way in reducing the disappointment of missing out on the Tokyo Olympics.

Training alongside fellow Canadian Justyn Knight, the second fastest North American of all time in the 5,000m, Flanagan searched for competitive races where he could tackle the Olympic qualifying standards. Despite running personal bests of 13:20.67 in the 5,000m and 27:49.09 in the 10,000m, he fell short.

“I had a hunch that I was going to be either just in or just out,” he declared with a smile. “So everything I did around the season was solely decided to give myself the best opportunity to represent Canada at the Olympics Games. I set a PB [personal best] in almost every event. I tried to not put too much pressure on myself and went into every race doing everything I could to get the best out of myself.”

He admitted, “Other guys really got the best of me, to be honest. Mohammed Ahmed and Justyn Knight — two of the best guys ever in North America — and Luc Bruchet had a clutch performance out in BC [to qualify for Tokyo 2020]. It’s tough competition and it’s exciting to be a part of one of the best eras in Canadian distance running.”

Flanagan will have the chance to test himself against Bruchet, a BC Endurance Project runner, alongside fellow Olympian Ben Preisner at the Canadian 10K Championships Recently, Flanagan started ramping up his training again after a brief rest.

“Any chance I get at setting myself up for a Canadian title is definitely what I am shooting for,” he explained. While early season races can be unpredictable, Flanagan is confident in his training progress. “With another month of training, I should be in a pretty good place. But it is so different compared to racing at the end of the season, where you have a strong understanding of where you are at.”

Despite mid-season uncertainties, Flanagan radiated optimism: “I am excited to go in and challenge for the win. There’s nothing to lose out there so I am going to put myself in it and try to have some fun. Canadian running is in a phenomenal place right now. I definitely expect some great athletes to show up and it’s going to be a hard-fought battle no matter what.”

Flanagan has adjusted to life as a professional runner with the support of his family in Kitchener, Ontario, alongside his teammates and coach, Chris Fox, at Reebok Boston TC. Armed with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology/Exercise Science and a Master of Social Work he has always filled his days wisely.

“I always thought that once I dropped the classes and focused on running, it would ultimately make me a better athlete right away,” he revealed. “That wasn’t necessarily the case for me. I have a busy mind. I found it a little bit tough to have that much time in the day. After some time, I got a little bit bored. About a year ago, I started working part-time remotely for a Canadian company, ‘Streamline Athletes.’”

The company helps prospective student athletes find post-secondary opportunities, something that Flanagan has great experience with.

“Now I spend 20-30 hours a week dedicating my time towards my professional career,” he said, adding, “I also love spending time with my girlfriend, Hannah. We have a dog named Norman, who I do everything I can to take good care of.”

The partnership of Athletics Canada, Run Ottawa (which had initially planned to host the Canadian 10K Championships in May before the pandemic struck), and Canada Running Series is offering considerable prize money: 1st place $5,500, 2nd place $3,000, 3rd place $1,500, 4th place $1,000, 5th place $750 and 6th place $500. With Preisner, Bruchet, and now Flanagan as confirmed entries, the competition will be extraordinary.

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Media interested in covering the STWM 10K can register for accreditation here. All media must receive advance accreditation to gain access to the in-person event on October 17th.

For more information:

Jenna Pettinato, Manager of Communications
jenna@canadarunningseries.com

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 Run Ottawa.

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: https://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/

About Athletics Canada

Athletics Canada is the national sport governing body for track and field, para athletics, crosscountry 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: https://athletics.ca/

About Run Ottawa

Run Ottawa is the National Capital Region’s premiere running organization and the organizers of Canada’s most popular multi-day running event, The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. For more information, visit: https://www.runottawa.ca/

BC Olympians Confirm Entry in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K

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By Paul Gains

Toronto, ON, September 16, 2021 — As the excitement builds for head-to-head competition, two more Canadian Olympians have confirmed they will race in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K on Sunday, October 17th.

Luc Bruchet and Ben Preisner — both members of the BC Endurance Project — will be chasing more than one medal, as the race also serves as the official Athletics Canada Canadian 10K Championship. The race, which is limited to 5,000 runners and sold out in only eight days, signals a welcome return to in-person racing.

The 30-year-old Bruchet competed in both the Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games in his specialty, the men’s 5,000m. The 2021 season has been his best yet, and although he narrowly missed advancing to the 5,000m final at Tokyo 2020, he has improved his personal best times throughout the year in the 1,500m (3:37.79) and 5,000m (13:12.56), and captured the Canadian 10,000m title (28:40.66).

“I took eight days off after the Tokyo Olympics and I ran a little here and there,” he revealed. “In a time trial for the Canadian 5K Championships…I ran 13:49. That’s where the baseline fitness is.” Bruchet has his sights set on the Canadian 10km record, which is held by Paul McCloy and has stood at 28:17 since 1987. Despite the longstanding record, he feels encouraged by his recent Olympic experience.

“It was awesome,” he said. “For a few years I wasn’t sure it would happen. 2016 happened and I was on such a high because I was only two years out of university. Everything came together so quick. I was young and in my mind that was the start of something but I didn’t qualify for the World [Athletics] Championships [in either 2017 or2019] between the two Olympics.”

However, Bruchet was at the Olympics for a different reason this time around, and explained, “I was there to qualify for the final and not there as a bystander. I didn’t qualify for the final but I was proud of how I put myself in the race.”

In some ways, Bruchet is at a crossroads. Engaged to be married and cognizant of the need to earn a living, he realises he has the potential to accomplish greater things. He also hopes he has done enough to earn Athletics Canada funding next season while actively chasing sponsorship.

“I have some things in the works. I am not in a huge rush to sign anything before the end of the year,” he says candidly. “With the 10K Championships and the Canadian Cross Country Championships coming up, I am looking at them as kind of resume boosters. If I can win another national title or two then maybe I can approach some of these companies at the end of the year and see if there is something more substantial.”

Meanwhile Preisner and his partner have just moved out to Vancouver after spending two years in Kingston, Ontario. Since winning the half marathon race at the 2019 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in an eye-catching 63:08, Preisner has been coached — at a distance — by BC Endurance Project coach Richard Lee. Now he is fully committed to training with the Vancouver based group.

Running 2:10:17 in his debut marathon in Chandler, Arizona back in December 2020 earned him a place on Canada’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic team. Unfortunately, his Olympic run in Sapporo, where organizers held the road races, was his only competition in 2021. The lack of in-person races has had a detrimental impact on his progress this year.

“It was all virtual races or time trials,” he recalled. “It was hard to find races in Canada and with the quarantine restrictions which went along with traveling across North America, it became too much of a hassle.”

Regarding his 46th place Olympic finish in 2:19:27, Preisner admitted, “I was happy but you always look for ways things could have gone better. You are looking for more no matter how you did — unless you win. Generally, I was happy. I placed higher than what I was ranked going in. I am taking from it what I can, learning from it, and thinking about how I can adapt as a marathon runner.”

Preisner, at 25 years of age, has many more years as a marathoner. Although he will focus on the marathon, the University of Tulsa graduate says he wants to explore his potential at shorter distances. His best official 10km is 30:10 but he has run 29:08.17 on the track.

“I really just want to be competitive,” he said of the Canadian 10K Championships. “Obviously the longer the better for me but I want to still develop some speed in my legs and not just become a straight marathoner for the rest of my life…It has been a while since I have done a Canadian national championship. I am definitely excited to see how competitive I am on the national stage with a distance I am a little less comfortable with.”

Like most of the Olympic distance runners, he has been cautious in his training load since returning from Japan. A recent workout with fellow BC Endurance athlete, Justin Kent, was a step in the right direction as Richard Lee monitored the pair.

“I have been building mileage,” he offered. “I am back up to 75 percent mileage but I started workouts just now. That gives me plenty of time to get ready for the Canadian 10K Championships and then I am planning to run the Valencia Marathon in December.”

Both Preisner and Bruchet are excited about flying back east to contest an in-person road race and to have the chance at winning some prize money.

“We haven’t had the opportunity to race any road races. Alan [Brookes, Race Director at Canada Running Series] and Run Ottawa are putting up some awesome prize money,” Bruchet said. “They treat the Canadian athletes really, really well. It is definitely something I will be focusing on this fall.”

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Media interested in covering the STWM 10K can register for accreditation here. All media must receive advance accreditation to gain access to the in-person event on October 17th.

For more information:

Jenna Pettinato, Manager of Communications
jenna@canadarunningseries.com

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 Run Ottawa.

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: https://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/

About Athletics Canada

Athletics Canada is the national sport governing body for track and field, para athletics, crosscountry 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: https://athletics.ca/

About Run Ottawa

Run Ottawa is the National Capital Region’s premiere running organization and the organizers of Canada’s most popular multi-day running event, The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. For more information, visit: https://www.runottawa.ca/

Natasha Wodak crossing the finish line of the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon

Olympian Natasha Wodak to Race Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K

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By Paul Gains

Toronto, ON, September 16, 2021 — Following her excellent Tokyo 2020 Olympic performance in the marathon, Vancouver’s Natasha Wodak has now set her sights on the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K.

The race, which doubles as the Athletics Canada Canadian 10K Championships, is a collaborative effort between the national governing body, Canada Running Series, and Run Ottawa and is scheduled for Sunday, October 17th in Toronto.

Pandemic restrictions had forced the postponement of the Championships which had been scheduled for Ottawa in late May.

On a weekend which is normally reserved for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, it signals a welcome return to in-person racing after a series of virtual competitions. The 39-year-old Wodak is delighted to embrace the opportunity.

“It’s really exciting,” Wodak, a two-time Olympian, declared. “It’s part of the reason I am going. I know I am not going to have as much preparation as I would like going into a national championship but I just couldn’t give up the opportunity to do an in-person race here in Canada.”

Wodak finished 13th in the Olympic marathon, a race that was held in Sapporo, Japan, battling the toughest field she had encountered since running the 2016 Rio Olympic 10,000m race, where she finished 22nd. The heat and humidity were another formidable obstacle but she came out unscathed.

“I was very happy, obviously,” she said of her performance in Sapporo. “I went in ranked, I think 26th. I wanted to go better than I was ranked and I knew I was in the best fitness I had ever been.”

As far as concerns going into the race, Wodak noted, “The weather obviously was something I was really worried about. I didn’t want to race stupid and go out too hard. I ran basically as I had planned to go out between 3:32 and 3:35 per kilometre. That’s pretty much what I did and I was able to pick off five people in the last 10km.”

Wodak, who ran 2:26:19 in Chandler, Arizona to qualify for Tokyo 2020, confirms, with a laugh, she is now a marathoner and isn’t sure she will ever run on the track again. Two years ago, she won the Pan Am Games 10,000m in Lima, Peru, setting a games record of 31:55.17. In 2015, she ran a Canadian 10,000m record of 31:41.59, which stood until this past summer when Andrea Seccafien beat it (31:13.94).

Prior to her Sapporo run, Wodak did some training sessions with Canadian marathon record holder Malindi Elmore (2:24:50) in Kelowna, B.C. under the watchful eye of Athletics Canada’s physiologist, Trent Stellingwerf.

Elmore went on to finish 9th in Sapporo. The pair, together with Olympic 50km bronze medalist Evan Dunfee, were examples of how well the Athletics Canada management supported the team.

“Trent and our whole support team were an integral part of our marathon success from the very beginning,” Wodak emphasized. “When I was named to the team, I got an email: ‘We are here for you. We are going to help put together a plan.’”

A testament to the importance of Stellingwerf’s presence during Wodak and Elmore’s training sessions in Kelowna, Wodak said, “Getting the hydration and the menthol drinks, and the cooling vests and ice towels, and just going over the race plan, we felt so prepared when we stood on the start line.”

How well prepared she is for the Canadian 10K Championship is another matter as she has been overly cautious in her post-marathon recovery.

“I have actually been recovering quite well. I started off with some easy running — 20 minutes here and there,” she revealed. “It’s been five weeks now and I still haven’t done any workouts — just easy running. But I am going to start this week in preparing for the Canadian Championships. Over the last three weeks I have been running easy every day getting up to almost 90 minutes of running. I am feeling ready for workouts and I am hoping the fitness will come back quickly.”

The Championship course — a straight out-and-back run along Toronto’s Lake Shore Boulevard — could provide an opportunity for some fast times. While she has a best 10km road time of 31:59, she is hoping to be able to run somewhere between 32 and 33 minutes. The Canadian 10km record of 31:44 has been held since 1989 by Wodak’s personal coach, Lynn Kanuka.

Clearly, she is not the only runner craving an in-person race. It took just eight days for the race to sell out its limit of 5,000 entrants. And, of course, there is considerable prize money on the line: 1st place $5,500, 2nd $3,000, 3rd $1,500, 4th $1,000, 5th $750, 6th $500.

“We are totally excited about the return to in-person racing,” Race director Alan Brookes declared. “Our team has been working for a year, not just on the virtual races, but on plans to get back to in-person racing. We are going to be ready for a wonderful but careful show to respect the regulations as outlined by the province, the City of Toronto, and Athletics Canada with everybody being fully vaccinated— both the participants and staff.”

Wodak is no stranger to the Canada Running Series and Brookes is especially pleased she has made time for this occasion. He remembers her running the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon to raise funds for her beloved Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association while wearing whiskers and mixing with runners at a Toronto craft brewery following an 8km race victory.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Natasha racing,” Brookes said. “I think we all feel how special the running community is and Natasha has been a marvellous ambassador — obviously a fantastic athlete but a wonderful person too.” How she performs is yet to be determined. But she has a positive outlook as she views her calendar.

“It’s not like I am coming back from an injury. I was healthy. I am healthy,” she confirmed. “I am hopeful that the fitness I that I gained in the marathon will take a month to get back instead of… two or three months. I did run a 32:30 [10km] in the middle of my marathon buildup. I know I was in very good 10km shape during my marathon training. If I can get there by the 17th, I don’t know.”

Focused on the road ahead, Wodak continued, “I am a marathoner now. I have joined the club and I am loving it. I want to go to the Olympics in 2024 in the marathon. That’s my focus now. I will dabble in some 10km road races but I want to get faster in the marathon and have some fun running the best ones.”

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Media interested in covering the STWM 10K can register for accreditation here. All media must receive advance accreditation to gain access to the in-person event on October 17th.

For more information:

Jenna Pettinato, Manager of Communications
jenna@canadarunningseries.com

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 Run Ottawa.

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: https://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/

About Athletics Canada

Athletics Canada is the national sport governing body for track and field, para athletics, crosscountry 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: https://athletics.ca/

About Run Ottawa

Run Ottawa is the National Capital Region’s premiere running organization and the organizers of Canada’s most popular multi-day running event, The Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend. For more information, visit: https://www.runottawa.ca/

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Returns to In-Person Racing with a 10K on October 17th

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After 19 months, Canada Running Series will be celebrating a long-awaited return to in-person racing with the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K on Sunday October 17th. Open to runners across the country, the 10K race will feature a scenic route along the shores of Lake Ontario, starting and ending near Exhibition Place.  

As one of the first in-person racing events in the greater Toronto area, organizers are eager to welcome the running community back:  

“The 10K is an important step forward for our run community and an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to everyone who has stood behind us during the pandemic. We wouldn’t be able to even think of offering an in-person event if it wasn’t for the thousands of participants who chose to participate in our virtual events in 2020 and 2021” says Charlotte Brookes, National Event Director for Canada Running Series.  

Registration will open in two waves, with spots available to Canadian runners who deferred their 2020 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in-person entries and Canadian runners currently registered for the 2021 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Virtual Race first on Wednesday August 11th. Registration will then open to all other Canadian runners on Thursday August 12th. The event is limited to 5000 participants and spaces are expected to fill up quickly.  

Participants of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon 10K will receive a race kit featuring a custom New Balance technical race shirt with design by local artist Mark Serrano, a finisher medal, running belt, Toronto landmark stickers, and other items from our partners including Larabar, Nuun, Biotrue and more.  

For those who prefer a virtual experience, registration remains open for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Virtual Race, with distance options ranging from the marathon to 5K at STWM.ca  

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 RunCRS.ca 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.

Application:

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. 

Timeline:

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.

Compensation:

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 http://STWM.ca

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
Website
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
Website
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
Website
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
Website
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
Website 
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
Website 
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
Website 
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
Website
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.