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Articles tagged #Toronto Waterfront Marathon
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NN Running has announced its elite field for Mission Marathon

Set to run in the Netherlands on April 18, Eliud Kipchoge will headline the race of about 60 athletes.

The fields for the NN Mission Marathon have been released, and the world finally knows who will toe the start line with Eliud Kipchoge. The races are set to be run in Enschede, the Netherlands, on April 18, and fields of 23 women and 35 men will line up to compete. Kipchoge is the clear favourite for the win, but second place in the men’s race and first place in the women’s are both anybody’s to claim, which will make for a couple of exciting and dramatic competitions.

The men’s race

In the men’s race, the pre-race seed times aren’t even close, and there’s really no debate as to who is most likely to win. Kipchoge owns the world record in the marathon with his PB of 2:01:39, and he has also run an unofficial record of 1:59:40. While many of the other runners racing the NN Mission Marathon are looking to qualify for the Tokyo Games or prove that they deserve to be chosen for their national Olympic teams, Kipchoge has a simpler and less stressful reason to run: he needs to bounce back from his poor race at the London Marathon last fall.

He’s still a heavy favourite heading into the Tokyo Games, but his poor 2:06:49 showing in October proved that he is human, and for the first time in years, his competitors might seriously believe they have a chance to beat him. A great race in the Netherlands can boost Kipchoge’s confidence while also knocking down that of his rivals ahead of the Olympics.

The next fastest PB in the men’s field belongs to Felix Chemonges, who owns the Ugandan national marathon record of 2:05:12 (which he ran at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2019). Chemonges hasn’t raced since March 2020, though, and his last result was a sub-par 2:10:08 run at the Lake Biwa Marathon in Japan.

Only one other man in the field, Kenya’s Laban Korir, has run a sub-2:06 marathon in his career, and his 2:05:54 PB puts him at third-best in the men’s race. Out of the 35 men set to race the NN Mission Marathon, 17 have run faster than the Olympic standard of 2:11:30, and 11 runners from that group have broken 2:10.

It’d be safe to bet on Kipchoge for the overall win in the Netherlands, but with so many other runners hovering around the same seed times, the battle for second and third place — plus the mad dash to cross the finish before the clock hits 2:11:30 — will produce must-watch coverage.

The women’s race has the potential to be much more competitive than the men’s when it comes to the overall win. Mexican marathon record holder Madai Perez has the fastest PB of any of the women in the field. The only thing is that she ran her national record of 2:22:59 all the way back in 2006, and the last time she broke 2:30 came in Chicago in 2017, when she ran 2:24:44. She certainly could take the win in the Netherlands, but her seed time is a bit misleading considering how long ago she ran it.

Next up are Jessica Augusto and Sara Moreira, a couple of Portuguese runners. Augusto owns a PB of 2:24:25, just ahead of Moreira’s career best of 2:24:49. Both of these women have posted tremendous times in the past, but neither has completed a marathon in recent years. Augusto’s last finish came in 2017, and she has one DNF since then.

Moreira has had an even worse few years, and her last finish came in 2015. Since then, she has DNFed three times, including in the marathon at the Rio Olympics. In 2015, though, she placed second at the Prague Marathon and fourth at the New York City Marathon. The next athlete on the start list is Kenya’s Gladys Chesir, who has a PB of 2:24:51, but like her Portuguese competitors, she hasn’t completed a marathon in years, and her last official finish was in 2017.

In total, nine of the 23 women in the field have beaten the Olympic standard of 2:29:30, with several others knocking at the door of sub-2:30 results. Like the men’s race, the women’s run should be an exciting affair, and it’s an event no running fan will want to miss.

(04/09/2021) Views: 71 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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NN Mission Marathon

NN Mission Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge will bid to resume winning ways in his last race before the Tokyo games with around 70 runners looking to make the Olympic qualification standard on April 18th in Twente.After suffering a rare marathon defeat in London last October, reigning Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge makes his return at the NN Mission Marathon in 2021. It is set to...

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Canadian Justin Kent and Natasha Wodak continue stellar seasons ahead of December marathon

Despite having limited opportunities to race this year, Justin Kent and Natasha Wodak have had great seasons. The pair of B.C. runners have both run half-marathon PBs in 2020, they took the wins in the virtual Canadian 10K Championships in July and they’re both headed to Arizona in December to compete in the Marathon Project with some of the top marathoners in North America.

Over the weekend, they added another couple of big results to their lists of accomplishments for 2020, with Kent breaking the Canadian 20,000m track record in 1:01:01 on Saturday and Wodak coming close to the national half-marathon record with a 1:10:01 showing at the Fierce Half Marathon in B.C. on Sunday. 

Kent’s 20,000m record 

Kent’s 20,000m best is his first Canadian record. Tom Howard was the previous record-holder in the 20,000m with a time of 1:01:10, which he set in 1974. Kent’s result works out to an average pace of 3:03 per kilometre, and while this was on the track and not the road, the result is proof that he’s in tremendous form with just over a month to go until the Marathon Project, which is set for December 20. The race will be his debut marathon, and he’ll undoubtedly be chasing the Olympic standard of 2:11:30. 

Kent was supposed to run for Team Canada at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Poland in October, but Athletics Canada pulled out of the race just days before it was held due to health and safety concerns. In lieu of the world championships race, he ran a solo half-marathon and set his PB of 62:34. With that result and his shiny new Canadian record, Kent will be a runner to watch at the Marathon Project and beyond in 2021. ⁣⁣

Wodak’s near miss 

Earlier in 2020, Wodak became the first Canadian woman to run sub-1:10 in the half-marathon when she ran a 1:09:41 at the Houston Half Marathon in January to set the national record in the event. She only got to enjoy the record for two weeks, though, because in February, Andrea Seccafien ran 1:09:38 at a race in Japan, which is the current Canadian best. Wodak, who owns the 10,000m national record with a time of 31:41.59, was looking to lower the half-marathon bar once again at the Fierce Half Marathon on Sunday, but she came up just short. Still, her 1:10:01 is the third-fastest time in Canadian history, and if she had run it in any other year, it would have been the national record.

Even though she couldn’t beat Seccafien’s time on Sunday, this result is a good sign for Wodak, and it looks like she is in great form just six weeks out from the Marathon Project. Unlike Kent, Wodak has run a marathon before, but just once — seven years ago when she posted a 2:35:16 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2013. This is basically her Debut 2.0 at the distance, and based on her last few years of results, it would be safe to bet that she will smash her marathon PB. Wodak will have her eye on the Olympic standard of 2:29:30 in Arizona, and she’ll have dozens of the best road runners in North America to work with as she chases that time. 

(11/09/2020) Views: 164 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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At the Los Angeles Games 36 years ago, Canadian Silvia Ruegger finished in eighth in the first-ever women's Olympic marathon

On August 5, 1984, the inaugural women’s Olympic marathon was held in Los Angeles. Fifty runners lined up for the 42.2K run and American Joan Benoit-Samuelson took the win in 2:24:52, grabbing the first Olympic gold in women’s marathon history. Three Canadians raced that day 36 years ago in L.A., including marathon legend and former national record-holder Silvia Ruegger. Ruegger finished in eighth place on the day, running to a 2:29:09 top-10 finish. That was the sole Olympic race of Ruegger’s career, and since then, no Canadian — male or female — has finished in a higher position in the Olympic marathon. 

Women’s marathoning through the years 

Benoit-Samuelson won the race in L.A. in impressive fashion, beating silver medallist Grete Waitz of Norway by more than a minute to take the gold on home soil. Going into the race, Benoit-Samuelson was a two-time Boston Marathon champion, and a year later, she won the Chicago Marathon and set an American record in the process. Her time of 2:21:21 stood as the national marathon record until 2006, when Deena Kastor beat it at the London Marathon. Benoit-Samuelson is still the fourth-fastest woman marathoner in U.S. history. 

The women’s marathon has come a long way since its introduction to the Olympics in 1984. At the time, the world record was 2:24:26, set by Ingrid Kristiansen of Norway (who finished in fourth in L.A.). Today, 36 years later, that record has been lowered by 10 minutes, and it currently sits at 2:14:04 following Brigid Kosgei‘s dominant performance at the 2019 Chicago Marathon.

Canadians at the 1984 Games 

Ruegger qualified for the Olympics at the 1984 Ottawa Marathon, which she won in a Canadian record of 2:30:37. She broke that record just a few months later in L.A., becoming the first Canadian woman to dip below 2:30 in the marathon. Ruegger raced alongside fellow Canadians Jacqueline Gareau (1980 Boston Marathon champion and the previous national record-holder before Ruegger won the Ottawa Marathon) and Anne Marie Malone. Gareau didn’t finish the race in L.A., but Malone recorded an impressive result to follow Ruegger’s, finishing in 17th place with a final time of 2:36:33. 

The following year at the 1985 Houston Marathon, Ruegger beat her record yet again, posting a 2:28:36. This remained the Canadian record for almost 30 years before it was broken in 2013 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon by both Lanni Marchant and Krista DuChene. A car accident following her record in 1985 left Ruegger to deal with injuries for the rest of her career, and she never returned to her previous record-setting form. Ruegger passed away in August 2019 at the age of 58 after a battle with cancer, but she remains one of the greatest athletes in Canadian history.

(08/06/2020) Views: 267 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, set to take place on Sunday October 18th has been cancelled, making a transition to a virtual race

 Working closely with the City of Toronto and Mayor John Tory, event organizers Canada Running Series have made the decision to cancel the international event that generates $35 million in economic impact annually, due to COVID-19 related health and safety concerns.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(07/14/2020) Views: 329 ⚡AMP
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang alleges doping authorities conspired against him

Race-news-service.com quotes an article by Michael Reinsch in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in which former Marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang alleges doping authorities conspired against him and plans an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

Kipsang accused the Integrity Unit of World Athletics of racism and the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya (ADAK) of feeding “wrong information” to the AIU in attempt to undermine Kipsang’s position as founder of a professional body for Kenyan runners (PAAK). “Everyone knows that we have a bad relationship with Athletics Kenya, which in turn led to this ban,” he alleged.

AIU commissioned the Swedish judge Conny Jörneklint with the case who justified the ban over three missed tests and supplying an incorrect address within one year. Kipsang’s excuses for missing tests included in one instance a landslide and on another occasion an overturned truck blocking the road. The court noted that it was “unable to confirm either incident.

There were no records of bad weather at the specified location at the specified time, nor had the police recorded a truck accident and any resulting traffic disruption on the day in question. A photo submitted for evidence, according to research, was taken three months after the alleged accident. The athlete has acted fraudulently by intentionally providing the AIU with incorrect and misleading information,” read the AIU judgement.

“People have doped for years and have been banned for four years,” said Kipsang. “I had an accident, had to go to the hospital, and was then banned for four years. That’s not fair.”

AIU had given a proportionately lengthy sentence in June 2020 to the Ethiopian distance runner Etaferahu Temesgen after she tested positive at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon for EPO and testosterone in October 2019. On appealing the original four-year ban Temesgen submitted a forged medical certificate and had the ban extended to 12 years.

On August 13, Kenyan marathon runner Florence Jepkosgei Kosgei is due to appear at a criminal court in Eldoret charged with presenting forged documentation to the Anti-Doping Agency of Kenya. If found guilty she could face imprisonment.

(07/10/2020) Views: 224 ⚡AMP
by Michael Reinsch
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The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will be pausing its registration for the next few weeks

STWM is scheduled for October 18, but CRS officials are unsure whether the City of Toronto will allow such a large gathering to be held by that time in the fall (more than 20,000 athletes are expected, plus spectators along the course).

In Wednesday’s press release, organizers said they have been communicating with the city and public health officials to figure out what will be permitted by October. 

“At this time,” wrote CRS organizers, “the City of Toronto has not been able to confirm if the ban on mass events of over 25,000 will be extended beyond August 31st.”

Because of this ambiguity, race registration will be frozen until the city, public health officials and CRS team can determine definitive answers regarding the fall race. 

Although it’s unclear if the event will go ahead as planned this year, fundraising for the Scotiabank Charity Challenge is still open, and CRS officials have said the race’s charity partners “need our help now more than ever.”

In 2019, $8.5 million was raised for more than 500 charities across the country, and since the challenge was created in 2003, almost $80 million has been raised. 

(06/25/2020) Views: 327 ⚡AMP
by Ben Snider-McGrath
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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World Half Marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor is now eyeing an Olympic medal

Last November, the 26-year-old won the men’s New York City Marathon for the second time in three years after clocking 2:08:13.

“My plan this year is to go to the Tokyo Olympics Games because the only medal lacking in my cabinet is an Olympic medal,” Kamworor said.

The athlete, who trains at the Global Sports Communication camp in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County alongside his mentor and World Marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, said he has stepped up preparations.

Under the guidance of their coach Patrick Sang, Kamworor and Kipchoge have become two of the best marathoners in the world. Kamworor has been on the medal podium for each of the four New York City marathons he has run.

“I am working hard this time round to make sure that I go to the Olympics because I am focused on getting a medal,” the athlete said.

Kamworor was speaking to the press on Thursday at Kipsinende Primary School in Uasin Gishu County where he led fellow athletes in awarding the best 2019 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) performers in the school.

He was accompanied by Laban Korir (2014 Toronto Waterfront Marathon), Philemon Rono (2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon winner), Sally Chepyego (former World Half Marathon champion), Hyvin Kiyeng (former world 3,000m steeplechase champion) and Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon.

(01/10/2020) Views: 638 ⚡AMP
by Dennis Lubanga
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Canadian Malindi Elmore recovered from injury is getting ready to race in Houston

The 2020 Houston Chevron Marathon is less than two weeks away, and while it’s technically an American race, it also serves as the winter running event of choice for the many Canadian runners. For the 2020 edition lots of Canadian elites are heading south of the border to try and run fast times, but a race we’re particularly excited to see is Malindi Elmore’s.

Elmore shocked Canadian runners a year ago when she ran a 2:32 marathon debut in Houston, which she would later describe as “a fun family project.” Since her debut, Elmore’s cranked out several impressive times, including a 1:11:08 half-marathon and a 32:44 10K. The original plan was to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, which doubled as the 2020 Olympic Trials. Elmore pulled out one week from the race due to a hamstring injury.

Elmore was targeting the Olympic standard of 2:29:30 and the automatic qualification spot that came from winning STWM. If she was successful, she would have qualified for her second Olympic team, 16 years and two babies after qualifying for her first (she competed in the 2004 Olympics for the 1,500m). The runner still has until May to run standard and put herself in the conversation for the Olympic team, but making the 2020 marathon squad will be harder than ever.

Canada can send up to three runners, but with Dayna Pidhoresky’s spot already guaranteed, Lyndsay Tessier’s top-10 finish at the World Championships acting as the equivalent to standard and Rachel Cliff knocking off the year with a new Canadian half-marathon record, the Canadian women’s road scene is deeper than it has been in years.

If Elmore is able to run under standard (2:29:30), there will be four Canadian women who’ve achieved it. And that’s not including Emily Setlack, who was only 18 seconds off at STWM. It’s far from cut-and-dried when it comes to who will be making this Olympic marathon team. There were years when Canada was excited to send one runner, and now there will likely be a marathoner, with standard, who won’t make the team.

But personally, Elmore isn’t overly concerned about the standard. “My goal is to run as fast as I can run, and if I perform how I think I’m capable of, it’ll land me within standard.”

The runner says that this build has been a little different than her first, due to her past injury. “Returning from injury wasn’t too bad, it took me about four weeks. That’s a pretty quick turn-around, all things considered. It was certainly a shorter build than I anticipated because I wasn’t starting from scratch.” Elmore was still working with the fitness she’d gained leading up to Scotia. She says she was very happy to see Pidhoresky and Hofbauer’s performances at STWM. “It was a really exciting race to watch. I was really happy for them and really happy to see how well they’d done.”

When asked about how Canadian running has changed over the past 20 years, Elmore says that connectedness is the biggest difference. “There’s a connection between runners and the public now. I felt much more alone doing my training and racing in 2004. Running was my personal story that I shared with people closest to me but it wasn’t available publicly the way things are now with social media.”

Elmore jokes that when she ran her lifetime personal best in the 1,500m she didn’t know for about an hour, because the results weren’t available. Then, she couldn’t tell her loved ones until she got back to the hotel and made the collect call home. “Now I put a workout up on Strava and get immediate kudos. I think there’s a greater awareness of what people are trying to achieve and what they’re doing to get there. It’s easier to build and maintain a community through technology where we can cheer people on from a distance.”

(01/07/2020) Views: 897 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Chevron Houston Marathon

Chevron Houston Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. Additionally, with more than 200,000 spectators annually, the Chevron Houston Marathon enjoys tremendous crowd support. Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon...

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Philemon Rono won the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon for the third time on Sunday

The Kenyan, nicknamed ‘Baby Police’ for his role as a policeman, smashed his own Canadian all-comers’ record with a time of 2:05:00 at the IAAF Gold Label road race.

Behind him, Lemi Bernahu of Ethiopia, who had been leading until the final kilometer, took second in 2:05:09, Uganda’s Felix Chemonges third in 2:05:12 and defending champion Benson Kipruto of Kenya fourth in 2:05:13.

“It was important to win three times, because Toronto is like my home,” said Rono. “When I come here, I enjoy myself. I have a lot of friends from Kenya here. I am really, really happy to win today.”

While Rono achieved an incredible record, earning CDN$30,000 for the victory along with CDN$50,000 for the all-comers’ record, it was his compatriot Magdalyne Masai-Robertson who claimed the women’s victory with an enormous personal best of 2:22:16. That beat the course record set by Mimi Belete last year by 13 seconds and improved the Canadian all-comers' record by one second.

For the first time in its 30-year history, conditions were near perfect (8C and 5km/hr wind at the start).

A trio of pacemakers took a pack of six men through the halfway point in 1:03:08 and 30 kilometers in 1:29:24 before Lemi Berhanu hinted that the tightness in his legs, which had bothered him in the days immediately preceding the race, had vanished. By 38 kilometres he had surged to a lead of more than 15 seconds. But incredibly Rono closed the gap in the final two kilometres to snatch victory.

“I was running at my own pace,” Rono explained. “The pace at the front was really moving so I maintained my own pace. At 38km when he ran away I said ‘let me maintain my pace’. And I knew I could catch him.”

For his part, Berhanu, who was the 2016 Boston champion, complained of a stitch in his right side and was in distress. Disappointment registered on his face at the finish where he sat alone on the ground for 10 minutes before his coach Gemedu Dedefo collected him for the awards ceremony.

“I was thinking when I made the break I could run sub 2:05 and keep pushing, but after 40km I could not really move because of a stitch,” he explained.

Felix Chemonges took four minutes off his personal best to break 2012 Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich’s Ugandan record with his 2:05:12.

The women’s race was equally compelling as eight women ran together through 30km. Five survived Birktuyat Eshetu’s surges up until 35km including Kenya’s Betsy Saina, Rachel Mutgaa and Masai-Robertson and then the race blew up. The latter took off, fearful of being caught. At 40km she spared a look over her shoulder and realised her nearest pursuer was Eshetu and quite a distance separated them.

(10/21/2019) Views: 697 ⚡AMP
by IAAF
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Canadian Kinsey Middleton is set to defend her title this Sunday at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Sunday is the 2019 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Canadian Olympic Marathon Trials, and the Canadian elite lineup is killer. Kinsey Middleton is the defending champion, following her impressive 2018 run where she took the win in her marathon debut.

The Boise, Idaho native says that her build has been great, with more miles than ever before, and a broader variety of workouts. She jokes that she’s becoming accustomed to the marathon, or at least as accustomed as you can be for only having run one.

The runner lives at 800m altitude, surrounded by mountains (she has dual citizenship, since her mother is Canadian), so she has relatively easy access to higher altitudes for training purposes. She’s looking to run Olympic standard on Sunday (2:29:30) and sounds confident in her ability to do so.

Middleton’s race day plan is to wake up roughly three hours before the race, and have a coffee and peanut butter and jam on toast. After breakfast she’ll take 10 minutes to visualize her race day plan and put her feet up, then she’ll take the bus to the course.

The runner jokes that the funny thing about marathon warmups is how short they are. “They’re the shortest warmup ever, because you don’t want to take any energy away from your race. The bigger the race, the smaller the warmup.”

Middleton’s race plan is all about standard. “I am hoping that there’s a solid group of women to run with. I’ve talked to Malindi [Elmore] and Emily [Setlack] about the pace they’re trying to run. It’s better if we all run together.” The runner says that they’ll sort out pacing at the technical meeting, but her plan is to go out on 1:14 pace for the half. “You really want to negative-split a marathon, otherwise it doesn’t feel good,” she says, referring to the practice of running the second half of the race faster than the first half.

“I’m really confident about the time, because I think if your goal is to make an Olympic team, the time shouldn’t scare you, it should feel possible. It’s all about executing on the day.”

Middleton races for the Idaho Distance Project and is hoping to get its logo added to a plain black crop top. Her plan is to race in that black top, or if it’s cold, a black tank top and Asics shorts. For shoes, she’ll be wearing the green Nike Next%.  “I like the upper a lot better on the Next%. I didn’t like the knit upper on the Vaporfly as much. I have narrow feet, so my foot would move around in them.”

(10/16/2019) Views: 746 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Scotiabank Toronto marathon switches from Gatorade to Nuun Endurance for their marathon event

Nuun has been updating its various sports hydration products, and Nuun Endurance, designed specifically those expecting to be out on the course for more than 90 minutes, will replace Gatorade at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon’s water stations on October 20.

Some commercial sports drinks contain a lot of sugar, artificial dyes and unnecessary chemicals–things that more health-aware athletes are trying to get away from, since they do nothing to improve either performance or health (and may do the opposite). Nuun unveiled its new Sport product earlier this year, and now endurance athletes in Canada can enjoy Nuun Endurance, formulated with their specific needs in mind.

According to Nuun, “as more research into hydration science demonstrated the ineffectiveness of traditional sports drink formulas, runners demanded healthier options with cleaner ingredients designed specifically to hydrate for high-intensity activities.”

Formulated as a powdered mix rather than a tab, Nuun Endurance is non-GMO and Informed Sport certified (Informed Sport is a third-party quality assurance program for sports nutrition products), kosher, vegan and gluten-free–which means you can rest assured there’s no funny stuff in your hydration product. It comes in four flavors: Mixed Berry, Citrus Mango, Lemon Lime and caffeinated Strawberry Lemonade, and is available in 16-serving tubs or single-serving packets. (The Strawberry Lemonade flavor contains 25 mg of caffeine derived from organic green coffee beans.)

Nuun Endurance’s delivers just enough electrolytes to optimize hydration, and its low sugar content is designed to minimize the potential for gastric distress.

(10/10/2019) Views: 699 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Marathoners are ready to sweat it out in Doha tonight and Kenyan runners should be leading the pack

If recent history is any guide, the men’s marathon title is likely to go to an African runner with Kenya entering four runners led by defending champion Geoffrey Kirui who will be out defending the title at midnight.

Despite the race starting at midnight in an attempt to avoid the brutal heat of the day, temperatures are still expected to be 30C as marathoners take on the course along the waterfront of Doha’s famous Corniche connecting Doha Bay and Doha City Centre, set against the capital city’s towering skyline.

Unlike track and field being staged in an air-conditioned Khalifa International Stadium, marathoners have to endure the unforgiving Qatari heat as witnessed on day during the women’s race where also half the field failed to complete simply because you can’t air-condition 42km of road.

Kirui who is also the 2017 Boston Marathon winner will partner with Laban Korir who has wealth of experience on the roads having won Setúbal Half Marathon in Portugal, and another followed at the 2009 Pombal Meia Maratona.

At the 2011 Amsterdam Marathon, he finished second with his run of 2:06:05 behind his compatriot Wilson Chebet. Korir then won the 2014 Toronto Waterfront Marathon with a time of 2:08:15. He holds a personal best of 2:05.05 from Armsterdam Marathon in 2016.

Paul Lonyangata is another member of the squad that holds personal best of 2:06.1.

Amos Kipruto is the fourth member of the team, he made his marathon running at the  2016 Rome Marathon with a victory. In 2017, Kipruto won the Seoul Marathon in 2:05:54, before finishing fifth in the Amsterdam Marathon in 2:05:43. He was runner-up at the 2018 Berlin marathon.  

Away from the Kenyans Mosinet Geremew tops the entry list with a PB of 2:02:55, set as he followed home Kenya’s Olympic champion and world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge as he won the London Marathon.

Mule Wasihun was one place behind in London in a personal best of 2:03:16 that places him third in this season’s list also.

(10/05/2019) Views: 829 ⚡AMP
by Dennis Okeyo
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IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha

The seventeenth edition of the IAAF World Championships is scheduled to be held between 27 September and 6 October 2019 in Doha, Qatar at the renovated multi-purpose Khalifa International Stadium. Doha overcame bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona, Spain to be granted the rights to host the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics. Having hosted the IAAF Diamond League, formerly...

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Ethiopia’s Bekelech Gudeta Borecha will make her Debut at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

A first-time marathon requires a great leap of faith as any distance runner can attest. And so it is that Ethiopian distance star Bekelech Gudeta, who will turn 22 nine days before the race, enters the unknown at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon tackling one of the strongest women’s fields assembled on Canadian soil. Though she has no experience at the classic marathon distance she has performed admirably these past two years in the half marathon, running under 1:08 on three occasions, most recently on September 15th. That time of 1:07:21 earned her 6th place in the Copenhagen Half Marathon, which, like Toronto, is an IAAF Gold Label race. A year ago, she recorded her personal best 1:07:03 on the same course.

"I am really happy to start the marathon," she reveals. " have run some half marathons and I think I can run a (good) marathon as a half marathon is a quicker pace than the marathon. I started preparation for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon from June. My target is to run a fast time in Toronto."

The women’s course record in Toronto is 2:22:29 and was set a year ago by Mimi Belete the Ethiopian who now runs for Bahrain. This doesn’t seem to faze Gudeta.

"My coach is Dawit Hiluf and he is telling me that I can run sub 2:22 in my first marathon," she says. "He is telling me the athletes with 1:07 in the half marathon have run 2:19 to 2:21 in the marathon and he is telling me it is possible to run fast in the first marathon. He is telling me that the Toronto marathon has a fast course. We expect to see me on the Toronto marathon podium with a fast time."

What gives her more confidence is that she has increased her training volume significantly this year but did not reduce it for her Copenhagen appearance. Training through Copenhagen and still coming away with a time just 18 seconds slower than her best must have been satisfying to her and her coach.

"Last year I was doing 100km per week now it’s 160 - 170km. So, I was expecting to run 1:05 (in Copenhagen) but this year there was too much wind. We ran against the wind. Especially when I dropped from the leading group it was difficult. But I am happy as I ran sub 68 for my third time."

Gudeta is a member of a training group put together by Volare Sports, a Netherlands based sports management company. It includes Hiwot Gebrekidan (2nd in Ottawa in both 2017 and 2018) Betelhem Moges (2nd in Ottawa 2019) and Abeba Gebremeskel (2nd place Seville marathon 2019). Like other runners she lives in the Ararat area of Addis, Ethiopia’s capital and shares a ride to training sites outside the city.

"Our training is in different places around Addis most of time we train in Sululta, Sendafa, Kaliti, Entoto, Sebeta and around Ararat inside Addis," she continues.

"We have a Volare team bus and we meet 3-4 times per week training program with a team. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and sometimes Sunday we train together with the team and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday we have easy training separately. When we are not with the team I train around Ararat."

Bekelech has not always lived in Addis. She was born in Shona just 50 kilometers outside the capital. After being introduced to running at school and having some success one of her brothers encouraged her to move to Addis and become a serious runner. She credits him with her success.

In Toronto she will face her experienced compatriots Dibaba Kuma, Eshetu Biruktayit and Hiwot Gebrekidan as well as Kenya’s Magdalyne Masai and Ruth Chebitok.

While the Toronto Waterfront Marathon signifies a dramatic change in direction for Bekelech Gudeta she sees it as a step towards meeting her ultimate goals.

"My goal is be a world class athlete like (Kenya’s four-time New York Marathon champion) Mary Keitany and Tirunesh Dibaba (three-time Olympic champion from Ethiopia)," she declares. " have represented my country during the World Half Marathon Championship last year in Valencia and I was 8th place. I want to represent Ethiopia again in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics or in other Olympics. It is my dream as a runner."

(09/25/2019) Views: 793 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Gene Dykes was hoping to break Ed Whitlock's M70 record at STWM, but a lingering illness has taken him out of contention

Gene Dykes, who came close to breaking the late Ed Whitlock’s M70 marathon world record at last year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and broke it unofficially in Jacksonville, Florida in December (on a non-record-eligible course) was hoping to make another attempt at this year’s Scotiabank Toronto race on October 20, but has decided to bow out due to illness and the resulting loss of training time.

Whitlock’s record, set in 2004, is 2:54:48. He was the only person ever to run a sub-3 marathon over age 70 until Dykes, who has now done it four times: first in Rotterdam in 2018, where he ran 2:57. At last year’s Scotiabank Toronto (which doubled as the World Masters Marathon Championships), he ran 2:55:18, missing Whitlock’s record by 30 seconds. At Jacksonville, he ran 2:54:23, breaking the record by 25 seconds–or so he thought, until he discovered that although the course is certified, the race is not USATF-sanctioned, which means you can’t set records there. At Boston this year he ran 2:58:50, shattering his own age-group course record of 3:16:20.

Dykes is optimistic he is on the mend, and has a number of fall races scheduled, including a 100K in Texas this weekend, a small marathon in Maine (on the same day as he would have raced Scotiabank), and the New York City Marathon on November 3.

Dykes remains the only living human over 70 years of age to run a sub-3 marathon.

(09/23/2019) Views: 808 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Uganda’s Felix Chemonges goal is to win the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

No Ugandan runner has ever won the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon a blemish which Felix Chemonges wishes to eradicate October 20th on the race’s 30th anniversary.

"My goal is to win the race and improve on my personal best as I want to get selection with my Toronto performance for Tokyo 2020," he explains. "My future goals are to be a world class star."

"I have only run two marathons before, which were smaller marathons. Both times I finished second. Toronto will be my first big one and I am really looking forward to it."

In recent years, beginning with the inspiring victory of Stephen Kiprotich at the 2012 London Olympics, Ugandans have strived to match the competitive results of their East African rivals from Ethiopia and Kenya. Now, with young athletes like the 23-year-old Chemonges (he turns 24 on October 10th), the country’s fortunes are indeed in good hands.

One of those aforementioned second place finishes came at the 2019 Linz (Austria) Marathon back in April and yielded a personal best of 2:09:19 but since then he has also lowered his PB at the half marathon distance with a 61:03 clocking in Zwolle Netherlands. That is, indeed, encouraging as he builds towards the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon - an IAAF Gold Label race.

Netherlands based Global Sports Communications which represents world half marathon record holder Geoffrey Kamworor, world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge (both from Kenya) and Ethiopia’s world 5000m and 10000m record holder Kenenisa Bekele, in addition to Kiprotich, operates a training camp in Uganda where Chemonges trains.

It is in Kapchorwa in Eastern Uganda which is around 50km from the border with Kenya. The elevation is roughly 2000 metres above sea level but they can reach even higher elevations nearby - perfect for training. "I live in the camp then we meet with other marathoners from different groups and train together," Chemonges says.

Under the guidance of coach Nalis Bugongo the group which can number as many as sixty athletes and includes Joshua Cheptegei, the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Champion, Robert Chemonges (no relation) and Jackson Kiprop, winner of the 2019 Nagano Marathon, has a strict training regimen running twice a day.

Highlights are a 35 kilometre run on Thursdays and a Tuesday track session which sees the group running one kilometre ten times at 2:06 marathon pace with a very short recovery.

The camp is not far from the village of Chebungai where Chemonges grew up and where his siblings still live and farm, so he is able to return home on occasion. But like their Kenyan rivals they are incredibly dedicated to the end goal of achieving success on the roads. Everything points in that direction from getting enough rest as well as massage between training sessions, eating healthy and pushing each other.

It cannot be stressed enough what the impact of Kiprotich’s Olympic gold medal offered the young runners. Although he trains mainly in Kenya at the Global Sports Communication camp in Kaptagat he returns home on weekends.

"His medal has inspired me to strive for the same title and many medals for myself in the future," Chemonges says of the Olympic hero. "It’s the biggest inspiration for all of us from Kapchorwa region.

"I meet with him and he encourages me. We often train together when he is at home. He is the most well-known Ugandan and he also competed in Toronto last year."

The 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships were held in Uganda’s capital of Kampala which was an incredible source of national pride. Kiprotich returned home to be a member of the Ugandan team even though he is now a fully-fledged marathoner. At that point Chemonges had not yet distinguished himself. But that would change a year later.

Selected to represent Uganda for the first he finished 26th in the 2018 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia recording a then personal best of 62:10. That was just four places ahead of Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins who is also racing for Olympic selection in Toronto.

Later the same year he finished second at the Beirut Marathon, with a promising debut of 2:11:57 on a demanding course.

"We chose Beirut with my manager Jurrie as it was a good place to debut and learn the distance and be competitive," he reveals adding, "I learnt that I can run a faster competition and time when I prepare well and that I can be confident."

As for Toronto his knowledge is limited to what he has gleaned from his management and Kiprotich. "I just know it is a marathon in Canada with a strong course and it can be cold," and then adding rather prophetically, "And no Ugandan has won, so far."

(09/20/2019) Views: 796 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Ethiopia’s Lemi Berhanu Hayle targets Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Record

Many target course records and victory in the weeks preceding a major marathon, but few can achieve this glory. Ethiopia’s Lemi Berhanu Hayle, however, has the fast times and experience to do it.  

Berhanu has confirmed he will attack Philemon Rono’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon course record (2:06:52) on October 20th. With Rono also committed to this year’s event, plus last year’s champion Benson Kipruto, Lemi’s addition to the field sets up a compelling showdown for the CAN $30,000 first place prize and, if things go right, CAN $40,000 course record bonus.

Lemi is held in such high regard by Ethiopian selectors that he was selected to his nation’s 2016 Olympic team (he finished 13th). Earlier that year he won the 2016 Boston Marathon. But it was his victory at the 2015 Dubai Marathon in 2:05:28 - the fourth fastest time in the world that year - which introduced him as a world-beating athlete.

Though he was beaten during his Dubai title defence in 2017 he came away with a new personal best of 2:04:33, in second place. Against this backdrop a Toronto course record assault is more than viable.

"My target is to have the course record time and of course to win the race," he says adding he will ask the pacemakers to go through halfway in 1:03. It appears, too, that he is familiar with Toronto.

"I always watch the (Scotiabank) Toronto Marathon on television. I have never missed (watching) the race every year. I heard some of the things about the race from my teammates; that the course and the weather is good."

Lemi is coached by Gemedu Dedefo as part of the Demadonna Athletics Promotions group in Ethiopia. Several athletes from this team have raced in this IAAF Gold Label race over the years most notably past winners Shure Demise (2015- and 2016-women’s champion) and Derissa Chimsa the 2013 men’s winner.

Poring over his impressive competitive record with those fast times, he doesn’t have to think long to determine which of his races yielded the most enjoyment. His Boston and Rio Olympic experience are top of his mind.

"The 2016 Boston Marathon was my favorite race," he reveals. "During that time, I was in very good shape, so I easily won that race.

"As it was my first time to compete in the Olympics, I feel very proud, but I faced injury in my leg and was not in the top three. That didn’t make me to change my plan, rather, it makes me feel that I have the ability and potential next time on world stages."

Born in Asasa about 220 kilometers south of Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis he grew up to the exploits of the leading Ethiopian runners.

"I saw (Olympic champions) Kenenisa (Bekele) and Haile Gebrselassie running on TV. Their great talent inspired me to follow them. I started running school championships and, when I saw my results, I thought of continuing athletics," he explains.

In 2013 he moved to Addis to train with Gemedu and after a short time made his debut in the 2014 Kampala Marathon. He recorded his first victory at the Zurich Marathon the same year in an eye catching 2:10:40 - at age 19. Training with the group has certainly proven advantageous in several ways.

"We are all like friends with most of my teammates we go out together to some recreational areas when we have time," he reveals adding, "I married my friend and fellow athlete, Melesech Tsegaye, last year. We have no children for the moment."

With his previous earnings he has built his own house in Addis and has plans to start a business sometime in the future.

Lemi joins a strong field which includes his compatriot Abera Kuma (2:05:50 PB) and the Kenyan trio of Festus Talam (2:06:13 PB), the aforementioned defending champion, Benson Kipruto, and Canadian All-comers’ record holder, Philemon Rono.

(09/13/2019) Views: 832 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Ethiopian Tigist Girma Withdraws from Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Following last announcement of Tigist Girma´s participation in the 2019 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon we were surprised to receive an email from her management company, Elite Sports Management International, says Alan Brookes, the race director.

The email, sent on Monday September 9th, informed us that the athlete was withdrawing from the race because the athlete’s husband did not think the course was fast enough to match her condition.

We are surprised and disappointed as a contract was signed and returned to us on July 11th, 2019.

Furthermore, the Toronto course record set last year by Mimi Belete ( is 2:22:29 more than four minutes faster than Tigist´s personal best. Sharon Cherop ( and Koren Yal ( both ran 2:22:43 in 2010 and 2011 respectively. These times compare favorably with most IAAF Gold Label races.

As a professional IAAF Gold Label organization we enormously value our relationship with the world´s media. We understand athletes sometimes are injured and must withdraw. But, in this case, we hope that these unforeseen circumstances do not reflect badly upon our efforts to further grow the sport we love. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Though we are disappointed we wish Tigist well with her career.

(09/11/2019) Views: 849 ⚡AMP
by Alan Brookes
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Ethiopian Tigist Girma is going after the Toronto Marathon title

Tigist Girma’s best marathon time may not have caught up with her impressive competitive record but the Ethiopian is quickly establishing herself as a world-class athlete to be feared. When she lines up for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 20, however, it will be a reality check of epic proportions.

Among the athletes she will face at this IAAF Gold Label road race are her countrywomen Bruktayit Degefa and Belaynesh Oljira who have run much, much faster times. Oljira, for instance, has a best of 2:21:53, almost five full minutes faster than Girma’s PB of 2:26:34 which she set in winning the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon in May. However, the 26-year-old Girma remains undaunted.

“Whenever I train for a specific competition, I have the goal to win as well as to run as fast as my training partners like Roza Dereje and Ruti Aga,” she says when asked what her target might be for Toronto. “So, I will try to run fast and win the race as well.”

Her resolve to match times recorded by members of her training group is decidedly ambitious. Dereje has a best of 2:19:17 while Ruti Aga has run 2:18:34. But it is the way Girma wins that is compelling. In each of her victories she has gone to the front with more than 12-15km remaining and simply run away from athletes, many of whom have superior personal bests.

“My coach (Haji Adilo) always trains us to run following our heart and condition. So, I am not afraid of running in front,” she explains. “My victory in both races (Guangzhou and Ottawa) with new personal bests was not only because of my strength but it was also with God’s support.

“According to my condition during the race I could have run better. But I won’t complain with the results I got in both races.”

The question of whether she can outwit and outrun her compatriots remains to be seen but there is much on the line. Toronto has seen the breakthrough of many international athletes. Past winners Sharon Cherop (Kenya) and Shure Demise (Ethiopian) went on to compete in the prestigious World Marathon Majors with Cherop finishing third in Boston in 2011, six months after her Toronto victory and was Boston champion in 2012. Demise went on to finish on the podium at both Tokyo and Chicago.

Girma first emerged on the scene with a victory in the 2016 Beirut Marathon where she ran a then personal best of 2:32:44. That was on a day when the temperature at the start was 21C. More recently she won the 2018 Guangzhou and 2019 Ottawa Marathons - both IAAF Gold Label races.

It is hard to believe that she has accomplished so much considering this is just her fourth season of competition. Moreover, coach Haji has reigned in her willingness to run three marathons in a year. Toronto Waterfront will be only her second marathon of 2019. She seems pleased with her training since Ottawa.

“I train four days a week with the team with coach Haji. Right now, I am doing all the training program my coach gave me and I run 170km each week,” she reveals.

Some of Haji’s favourite sites are well outside of Addis, the capital. This is because Addis traffic is notoriously heavy and not conducive to training. Haile Gebrselassie, for example, ran on a treadmill each afternoon in the basement gym in his office building.

 “Since the training sites are quite far and it’s long drive there my boyfriend drives me up and down,” Girma says.

The unpredictable weather coming off Lake Ontario in late October should not be a problem for her. Two of her victories were in heat and humidity while in Guangzhou it was cold and raining.

“I think (Toronto) is good timing for me,” she confirms. “Since it’s now winter-time here in Ethiopia I have been training in rain and very cold weather conditions. I don't think cold weather will be problem for my result.” 

(09/10/2019) Views: 875 ⚡AMP
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Welsh marathon runner Josh Griffiths will be seeking olympic selection at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The IAAF Gold Label race (October 20th) is serving as the Athletics Canada Marathon trials for Tokyo 2020 and Josh Griffiths, fresh off his personal best performance in London (2:14:25), has chosen to make his own run for an Olympic berth.

The 25-year-old is presently ranked fifth in Britain behind Mo Farah (2:05:39), Callum Hawkins (2:08:14), Dewi Griffiths (2:11:46) and Jonny Mellor (2:13:25). Like the Canadians he will face in Toronto, he believes a 2:12:30 performance might be enough to cement a place on his national Olympic team. Asked what he is looking for in Toronto he is succinct.

"Just a really good, competitive race," he offers. "Malcolm (Anderson, his manager) said it would be a really good Canadian field, so if I can just get in the mix and, on a good day, see how far I can go with them.

"There's three really good British guys now. Obviously, it all depends on if they all stay fit and if they all choose to do the marathon. All I can do is focus on myself and if I run the best I can then I can’t really ask for more."

Canadian record holder Cam Levins (2:09:25) will be seeking to run with the international elite and improve upon the record he set a year ago, while fellow Olympians Dylan Wykes and Reid Coolsaet want to be in that 2:12 - 2:13 range that Griffiths is targeting.

Although he represents Swansea Harriers, Griffiths has lived all his life in Gorslas, Carmarthenshire in rural Wales where there are few runners. As a result, he is self-coached and does all his training alone. He supports himself financially by providing an online coaching program as well as some funding from Welsh Athletics and the London Marathon.

"It’s mentally tough getting out the door," he says of the solitude. "Sometimes it’s the hardest part of the run. I just think if it’s going to be that grim in training I am really prepared. If it rains in Toronto, I am prepared for anything.

"The weather is not always great in Wales; it rains a lot. But on those days, you have got to think what the goal is. If I want to run well in Toronto, then I have got to put the work in. I don’t struggle like that. I am in a pretty good position I can run all these amazing races and it’s well worth putting in the work."

The toughness that has characterized so many British runners over the years is epitomized especially by Welsh hero, Steve Jones, who set the world marathon record in the 1984 Chicago Marathon and won the 1992 Toronto Marathon.

"I met Steve a few times but when he was at his peak I wasn’t born yet. I have met him many times since," Griffiths reveals.

"We met at the Welsh track championships a couple of years ago. I went along to watch and so did he. We kind of got to chatting. It was after the London Marathon. He is always supportive."

Like Jones, he recalls his early start in athletics came as a schoolboy where he was exposed to many different sports.

"When I was in university I kind of took it seriously, started working with a good group of athletes in Cardiff. In 2017 I decided to do the marathon to try and qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia. I had to run 2:16 and I managed to run 2:14 which qualified me for Gold Coast and for the World Championships."

In 2011 he visited southern Ontario on a schoolboy rugby trip. At the time he was billeted by families in Coburg, Brantford and Lindsay, Ontario. They also visited Toronto’s tourist sites. There will be little time for site seeing on this trip however as so much is at stake.

"I will be looking to go through halfway just under 66 minutes," he says returning to the reason for his Canadian adventure. "One thing I have learned in the marathons I have done it’s much better to feel good in the second half. I don’t want to go crazy at the start. If there is a good group, then I will work my way through."

 

(09/05/2019) Views: 758 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Ethiopians Belaynesh Oljira and Bruktayit Degefa Eshetu, are ready to compete at Toronto Marathon

Belaynesh Oljira brings an enviable reputation to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 20th which includes two 2013 IAAF World Championships bronze medals at 10,000m and in cross country.

The Ethiopian star, who also represented Ethiopia at the 2012 London Olympics, has run 2:21:53 (Frankfurt 2018) for the marathon staking her claim as one of the heavy favorites to win this IAAF Gold Label race.

Oljira will be joined in Canada’s largest city by a member of her training group, Bruktayit Degefa Eshetu, who is also a world class marathoner. In January of this year Degefa ran a personal best of 2:23:28 to earn herself a hat trick of Houston Marathon victories. A year ago, Degefa beat Oljira in Houston by a mere six seconds.

Despite sharing a coach and training group their contact has been minimal and it will be every woman for herself when they line up in Toronto. 

“I train with the Demadonna Athletics Promotion team,” Oljira says, “which includes also Biruktayit Degefa. We don’t train together, except when there is group training, we meet with others.

“We are not friends. I joined the team recently, I didn’t socialize with most of them but once I met her at the Houston Marathon she seems sociable and I hope we will be friends in the future.” 

Their casual relationship is not unusual. With training groups numbering as many as a hundred the athletes will meet their coach - in this case Gemedu Dedefo - two or three times a week at some of the popular training sites such as Sendafa, a thirty-minute drive outside Addis Ababa. Athletes might ride share. Training sessions begin just as the sun is rising so it is not unusual that runners might get out of bed at 4am to be picked up.

After a brief warm-up the training session starts and from then on, it’s all business. If the athletes are going to socialize it is likely to be in Addis away from training. Another barrier in their relationship is the fact Degefa is also married to an American-based Ethiopian named Abinet Adraro and spends much time in the U.S. This past spring, she prepared for the Boston Marathon for several months there. She was eighth in Boston. 

“Training with the group can benefit you with different things like you share experience, you find new friends, you have fun with them especially when you train with them you don’t think of your tiring moments of training.”

Among their training group are a strong contingent of world-class women including Tirfi Tsegaye (2:19:41 personal best, who ran an impressive 2:22:44 in Toronto in 2010), Aberu Kebede (2016 Berlin winner in 2:20:45) and two-time Toronto champion, Shure Demise.

“Yes, Shure has told me about the Toronto marathon, about its course and weather, and all the good people there,” Degefa admits. “My expectation in Toronto is to win with a good time.”

Not surprisingly Oljira is also targeting victory in Toronto.

“My main goal as for any athlete is to run a good time and to win the race,” she declares.

The pair come from vastly different backgrounds. Oljira grew up in Wellega district about 315km west of Addis. She started out running cross country and track with immediate success. Indeed, her first overseas venture was a cross country race in France where the first-place prize was a car. She won.

(09/02/2019) Views: 954 ⚡AMP
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Kenya´s Philemon Rono will be looking for another title at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Philemon Rono of Kenya has won the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon twice–the first time in 2016, and the second time in 2017, when he set the Canadian all-comers record of 2:06:52 (also his personal best).

Rono, who trains with NN Running (marathon world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge’s group), was dealing with a calf injury and didn’t have a great race in 2018, finishing ninth in 2:13:36, but the diminutive runner they call Baby Police is healthy and will be back on October 20, hoping not only to win, but to lower his Canadian soil record.

Rono raced at Boston in April, finishing eighth, in 2:08:57–which he was happy with. He is currently running about 200K per week with the NN Training group in Kaptagat under the direction of coach Patrick Sang.

Kipchoge has a big influence on the training, Rono says. “We watch everything he does.” Many accounts of Kipchoge’s training make note of the fact that while living in camp from Monday to Saturday, he takes his turn mopping floors and scrubbing toilets like everyone else. When not working out, the group loves to watch soccer on TV. Like Kipchoge, Rono travels home to his farm on weekends, where he spends time with his wife and young son, and tends his cattle.

Rono’s stiffest competition so far announced will be Abera Kuma, who has a personal best of 2:05:50, and Benson Kipruto, who won last year’s marathon in 2:07:24 (which was seconds off his PB).

The race will also serve as the Canadian marathon championships and unofficial Olympic trials, with the top Canadian male automatically qualifying for Team Canada at Tokyo 2020 (provided he achieves the Olympic standard of 2:11:30 within the qualifying window). 

Reid Coolsaet, Dylan Wykes, Rob Watson and Canadian marathon record-holder Cam Levins will all be on the start line on October 20.

(08/16/2019) Views: 838 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Mexican runner Juan Luis Barrios will be racing the 2019 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Mexico’s great distance runner, Juan Luis Barrios, will race the 2019 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 20, he and it race director Alan Brookes announced in Mexico City last month.

Barrios has fond memories of Toronto, where he won the gold medal in the 5,000m at the 2015 Pan Am Games.

Barrios was scheduled to represent Mexico at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru this month, but an injury prevented him from racing. However he expects to be fully healthy in time for the Toronto event later this fall. He told a Mexican media outlet his doctor advised him to rest for two to three weeks before resuming training.

Like many elites racing STWM this year, he will be trying to qualify for the 2020 Olympic marathon. The men’s Olympic standard is 2:11:30, which should hopefully be attainable for Barrios on the fast, flat STWM course. Barrios ran 2:10:55 at the Tokyo Marathon in 2018, and 2:12:00 (good enough for an enviable third place, but narrowly missing the Olympic standard) at this year’s Los Angeles Marathon.

Mexicans comprise one of the biggest international groups at this marathon, with 700 expected to toe the line this year.

Barrios is sure to benefit from the support. Brookes extended some welcoming words to Barrios and his many compatriots who will be on the course in Toronto: “Bienvenidos a todos nuestros amigos Mexicanos… We love our Mexican runners in Toronto! They bring the city alive with their passion, strong running, and love of a fiesta!”

(08/08/2019) Views: 823 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Abera and Dibabe Kuma are brothers and sister and both will be going for the win and course records in Toronto

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon has announced that the Kuma siblings of Ethiopia, Abera Kuma and his sister Dibabe Kuma, will toe the line this year on October 20. With personal bests of 2:05:50 and 2:23:34, both are in a position to contest not just the titles but the course records–and it would be a notable first for this event if a pair of siblings were to win at STWM.

This will not be the first Canadian marathon for Abera, 28, a former track runner who represented Ethiopia at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships: he finished second on a very humid day at this year’s Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, in 2:08:14. His PB of 2:05:50 is from the 2018 Rotterdam Marathon, where he finished second.

Dibabe, 22, has always focused on the road since fairly early in her career, setting her marathon PB of 2:23:34 with her third-place finish at the Ljubljana (Slovakia) Marathon last October, and winning this year’s Hamburg Marathon in 2:24:42 (where Magdalyne Masai, who will also line up against Kuma at STWM this year, finished second).

Both siblings are considered to have potential to break the course records, depending of course on the weather. The women’s record of 2:22:29 was set last year by Mimi Belete, while Philemon Ronoholds the men’s course record of 2:06:52 (from 2017). Kuma says she is not daunted by the prospect of cold weather, having triumphed in cold and wet conditions in Hamburg.

It will be the siblings’ first time traveling together to race.

(08/08/2019) Views: 842 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Canadians Reid Coolsaet, Dylan Wykes & Rob Watson will return to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Three very familiar faces will be among the outstanding Canadian entries for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 20th, all lured by the Athletics Canada National Championship which runs concurrently in this IAAF Gold Label race.

Moreover, this year’s event also serves as Canada’s Olympic trials with the ‘first past the post' earning an automatic spot on the team bound for Tokyo provided he or she has achieved the Olympic standard (2:11:30/2:29:30).

Two-time Olympian Reid Coolsaet will seek a third berth, Dylan Wykes a second and Rob Watson, a three-time World Championships performer, relishes the challenge of earning another podium finish. The ‘three amigos’ between them have won twenty-one national titles.

Coolsaet turned 40 on July 29th and acknowledges his best days are behind him - he is Canada’s third fastest marathoner of all time with a 2:10:28 personal record - but believes he has the experience to make the team for Tokyo. "Yeah, it is my goal, I am totally focused on making the Olympics," said Coolsaet, who has run under 2:11:30 six times in his career. "It’s definitely my main motivation for training as hard as I do in the marathon.

"If it wasn’t for the 2020 Olympics, knowing I am not really looking for a PB anymore, I think I would have moved to the trails last year. I am happy to train this hard knowing the reward would mean a lot to me."

With Cam Levins (2:09:25) also returning to the site of his dramatic Canadian record-breaking performance, Coolsaet realises that something would have to go seriously wrong for Levins to miss the automatic place. Still, he remains optimistic he has a chance.

"I know what it takes to run the level I need to run to potentially qualify for the Olympics," Coolsaet says believing a 2:12:30 might be good enough to earn a place through the IAAF ranking system.

"Although I don’t want to get hurt, I don’t want to sell myself short and think ‘what if?’ I am going to be smart about my training and listen to my body. "I am not going to run quite as much mileage as in the past. But I know I can’t let being 40 be an excuse to back off my training because I can't handle it or something like that. Although there will be some slight changes, they are going to be very slight."

Wykes who was Canada’s top finisher in the 2012 Olympic marathon (20th in 2:15:26) has a personal best of 2:10:47 making him the fourth fastest Canadian of all time. Many were surprised by his return. After failing to make the Rio Olympic team he effectively retired to focus on his family - he and his wife Francine have two young children - and his coaching business ‘Mile2Marathon’.

Coach Richard Lee had once declared that he doubted Wykes would ever want to put himself through the disruption which ultimately led to his place on the 2012 London Olympic team. He made three attempts to achieve the standard sacrificing much in the process. His 2:10:47 came at the 2016 Rotterdam Marathon. Reminded of this the now 36-year old laughs.

"It’s certainly taken a few years to wrap my head around things and realize I am probably not going to do it again if it’s like the buildup was to London," he admits. "I would be lying if I said Tokyo wasn’t in the back of my mind. But I think I am trying to see things less ‘big picture’ and trying to focus on staying healthy and getting to the finish line in Toronto.

"If Cam Levins is on his game he’s in a different stratosphere. But I guess guys like Tristan Woodfine, Reid, Trevor Hofbauer, these kind of guys, if I am going well, I will mix it up with them.That is kind of what I am most excited about."

Following the 2012 Olympics, Wykes’ motivation was at a peak. The London experience had left him excited with endless possibilities to set about achieving. But there were obstacles that cropped up along the way. "I was as focused or more focused after London as any time in my career and the years between London and Rio were going to be my best," he reveals. "But a lot of that was injuries and kind of biting off more than I could chew.

"Some of that had to with the buildup to London and having to run so many marathons. And I made the silly mistake of trying to chase down (Jerome Drayton’s Canadian record). After London that became my focus. And, when I didn’t make Rio, I was kind of done."

A year ago Wykes and his family moved east from Vancouver after Francine received a post-doctoral position at Carleton University. Together with Rob Watson he coaches runners of all abilities through their company ‘Mile2Marathon’. With over 200 clients and ten coaches it is a thriving business. Somewhere along the way he rediscovered his own love for disciplined training. At his peak Watson achieved a personal best of 2:13:29 at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

(08/02/2019) Views: 872 ⚡AMP
by Paul Gains
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Jake Robertson’s wife Magdalyne Masai wants to be in the top three at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Magdalyne Masai’s performance at the Hamburg Marathon on 28 April earned her praise from around the world given that she had run a personal best of 2:26:04 and finished second in the highly competitive race.

Moreover, it earned her an invitation to this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label road race, on 20 October.

She will arrive in Canada’s largest city privy to useful knowledge of the city and the race as her husband, Jake Robertson of New Zealand, finished fifth here a year ago.

“I want to get a personal best and finish in the top three,” she said, speaking during a video call from her home in Iten, Kenya. “That is my aim. I want to be in top three. I think 2:23 or 2:22 is within reach.”

That would challenge the ‘family record’ held by her elder sister, Linet Masai, who ran 2:23:46 In her debut last year in Amsterdam.

‘Magz’, as she is affectionately known, comes from a family of runners. Linet was the 2009 world 10,000m champion while the eldest of the 10 Masai kids, Moses Masai, was the 10,000m bronze medalist at those same championships in Berlin. Another brother, Dennis Masai, won the 2010 World Junior Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick. A younger brother, Alex Masai, is currently running for Hofstra University in New York State.

It’s not difficult to see where her influences came from as she grew up in the Rift Valley of western Kenya where the altitude is roughly 2,500m above sea level.

“We moved a lot,” she says of her upbringing. “I was born in Mt. Elgon forest. After some point we moved to Kapsogom. Currently my parents are in Trans Nzoia district.

“I met Jake in Iten because my sister Linet was staying in Iten. I had come to start training in Iten as well and was staying with her.”

Robertson and his twin brother, Zane, had arrived in Kenya as teenagers fresh out of high school. Their intention was to live and train like the Kenyan runners they admired. He and Magdalyne fell in love and, after a six-year relationship, he famously proposed at the finish line of the 2017 Great North Run. Moments before, he had finished second to Olympic champion Mo Farah and Magdalyne finished fourth in the elite women’s race.

“So far in my training not only am I looking at time but also how I am feeling,” she explains. “Mostly I judge myself when we do long intervals on the roads. We run 4km at about 3:30 (per kilometre) pace. Then for one kilometre easier at 4:00 pace. We do that five times. If I finish that feeling like I can continue that’s when I know I am feeling good and ready to go." 

Magdalyne Masai may not have the fastest time among the elite women who will toe the line on 20 October, but she certainly will be prepared to run with the leaders. And nobody could be prouder than Jake Robertson if she achieves her goal of a top three finish.

(07/26/2019) Views: 1,191 ⚡AMP
by iaaf
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Kenya´s Benson Kipruto will Defend his Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Title in October

"If I can defend my Toronto Marathon title it will be very good for me and for my marathon career," he declares with a smile. He remembers well the joy his 2:07:24 performance brought him and the festivities which followed upon his return to Kenya.

"I started the celebration at the (Eldoret) airport with my family, my friends and my training mates and also my coach," he recalls of the celebration which included drinking fermented milk called Mursik in the Kalenjin warriors’ tradition. "We extended the celebration to my camp. We feasted on some goats with my friends and training mates.

"This year I would like to run my personal best in Toronto. Hopefully, if the weather will be good and also, if the pacemakers do a good job, I am hoping to run maybe 2:06 and maybe try to run a course record."

Kipruto’s best is 2:07:11 set in finishing third at the 2018 Seoul Marathon and he also ran 2:07:21 at the 2017 Gongju Dong-A Marathon in Korea. With three recent 2:07 results he is clearly on the verge of another major breakthrough which could see him tackle the current Toronto course record held by his compatriot Philemon Rono (2:06:52 in 2017).

Asked what his greatest impression from last year’s five day visit to Toronto was he is quick to credit the organizers.

"The people I met, they are friendly like the first one, Alan Brookes the Race Director, he is very friendly," he reveals. "The course itself is good. And also, I think the weather that day was not so good."

Last year runners awakened to temperatures hovering near freezing point and also encountered a strong headwind coming off Lake Ontario. Still, winning this IAAF Gold Label race caught the attention of the world’s marathon running aficionados.

"I would say it opened doors to my future," Kipruto explains. "I was invited to the 2019 Boston Marathon because of Toronto. So my name has grown. (Toronto) was my first victory.

"Boston was a good performance for me; I managed to finish, first of all. I was injured during the race."

Kipruto’s feet were badly blistered during the race. But his coach Claudio Berardelli offers another explanation saying that he pushed Kipruto perhaps too much over the final three weeks of his preparation and so he was also over-trained. Ultimately, he finished a respectable 10th in 2:09:53 within two minutes of the winner Lawrence Cherono, also from Kenya.

Performing at this level has paid dividends for Kipruto. First place in Toronto earns CAD $30,000 while a course record is worth another CAD $40,000. In a country where the per capita income is less than $2,000 it is a lucrative business. He sees it as an investment for the future.

Though he was born in the village of Tolilet he recently bought some land 40 kilometres away in Kapsabet and moved his wife and one-year old daughter, who is called Princess Camille Chemutai, to the place.

Now his family is nearer to the training camp where he resides during the week and where he trains with such elite athletes as Amos Kipruto (2:05:43 personal best), Vincent Kipchumba (2:06:56), Solomon Yego (2:06:23) and Barselius Kipyego (2:07:57). He goes home on weekends.

(07/19/2019) Views: 1,112 ⚡AMP
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Kinsey Middleton and Malindi Elmore are both seeking a spot on Canada's Olympic marathon team going to Tokyo

Kinsey Middleton and Malindi Elmore both ran their first marathons in the last nine months, Middleton becoming Canadian champion at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon last year, and Elmore making a strong debut at Houston in January.

Though they are at very different points in their lives and careers, their times were almost identical (2:32:09 and 2:32:15), and both are now chasing a spot on Canada’s Olympic team in the marathon. Middleton and Elmore will contest the Canadian Marathon Championships (which double as the Canadian Olympic marathon trials) at Scotiabank on October 20.

Middleton, 26, claims to have learned a lot from her first marathon. A native of Boise, Idaho, which is at 800m altitude and surrounded by mountains (she has dual citizenship, since her mother is Canadian), Middleton has relatively easy access to higher altitudes for training purposes.

She says she may plan to surpass the 190K peak weekly mileage she reached during last summer’s build, with the goal of getting even faster.

Malindi Elmore 39, represented Canada at the 2004 Olympics, the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2011 Pan Am Games, then became a triathlete for a while before returning to running. She has two children, and is in the midst of a comeback after retiring from her career as a 1,500m runner seven years ago–a comeback that surprises even her.

“I didn’t see this coming at all,” Elmore told us last month after her third-place finish at the Vancouver Sun Run. “I didn’t even think this was possible a year ago. I started running for fun and then the marathon went really well along with my 10K and half training. I’m feeling fresh again.”

Middleton and Elmore went two and three at this year’s Vancouver Sun Run, behind Canadian 10K and 10,000m champion Natasha Wodak.

(07/12/2019) Views: 959 ⚡AMP
by Anne Francis
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Fifty-six years after having organized the Olympic Games, the Japanese capital will be hosting a Summer edition for the second time, originally scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the games were postponed due to coronavirus outbreak, the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee decision....

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Two of Canada's fastest-ever marathoners Cam Levins and Reid Coolsaet are going to battle it out at this year's Edmonton lululemon 10K

Natasha Wodak, Cameron Levins and Reid Coolsaet are leading the field for the 2019 Edmonton lululemon 10K. The three Olympians and previous lululemon 10K winners will line up against a strong elite field in the sold out event.

The 2019 race sold out in a record time of 10 hours and will host 7,000 runners.

Wodak is on a tear this season. The B.C native has won five races in 2019 alone and come away with two Canadian championship titles. Wodak has been named to the World Championship team for the 10,000m following a huge run at Payton Jordan in early May where she hit world standard and narrowly missed her own Canadian record, and a win at the Canadian 10,000m trials in June.

Coolsaet had a slightly later start to his 2019 season following a setback in training which meant he wouldn’t be prepared for the Hamburg Marathon where he initially intended to open his season. He instead ran his spring marathon in Ottawa, 10 years after debuting on the same course. Following Ottawa, he’s lining up for the Edmonton 10K and will race Canadian marathon record holder Levins.

Levins had to withdraw from the London Marathon earlier this spring due to injury, but he’s back in good form and using a series of summer races to gear up for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon this October. At STWM Levins hopes to lower his own Canadian record.

He told Canada Running Series, “My training since [the Toronto lululemon 10K] has been great. It has taken a step forward and I think there is a tendency to do that once you get your first race out of the way.”

Race race goes at 7:30 a.m. on July 7 starting at the Alberta Provincial Legislature.

(06/29/2019) Views: 730 ⚡AMP
by Madeleine Kelly
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Cam Levins will return to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon to defend his national title and hopefully lower his own Canadian marathon record

On Sunday, October 21, 2018, Levins broke a record that had stood for many more years than he’d been alive. Levins crossed the line in his marathon debut in 2:09:25, 44 seconds ahead of the record set 43 years ago by Jerome Drayton.

Levins had hoped to take another stab at the marathon in London this year, but was sidelined due to injury. Since withdrawing from the London Marathon, Levins has gotten healthy and announced his fall marathon will take place in Toronto.

Levins told journalist Paul Gains, “I was thrilled with how I performed, and I will probably remember crossing the finish line there for the rest of my life. It’s exciting to go back to a race where I now know the entire course.

I also feel like I know what to expect. I may not feel the same as I did last year, but if I can go and have a similar experience, I will be happy.”

As an added bonus, the 2019 STWM is also the Canadian Marathon Championships, and therefore, an Olympic qualifier. The first Canadian male and female finishers will receive automatic pre-selection for the Tokyo Olympic marathon next August, provided they achieve the 2:11:30 (male) and 2:29:30 (female) standards.

If they do not go under those standards on October 20th, a place will still be held open for them until May 31, 2020 to allow them to attain the standard. Anyone else hoping to represent Canada in the marathon in Tokyo will have to wait until June 1, 2020 before selections are announced, so the Toronto Championship race offers a huge incentive.

(06/20/2019) Views: 958 ⚡AMP
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Canadians Catrin Jones and Calum Neff head to Comrades Marathon

Catrin Jones and Calum Neff, two of Canada’s strongest ultrarunners, are heading to South Africa this week to tackle the 94th running of South Africa’s most famous and historic ultramarathon, the Comrades, next Saturday, June 8.

Neff ran it for the first time last year, finishing in 31st position overall, in 6:08:06. Jones will be racing Comrades for the first time.

Jones is a veteran of the BC trail and road scenes who has eased back into racing since having her daughter, Elodie, who is now two.

“I’ve been wanting to go for years and thought about it many times,” says Jones, inspired by her friend, the much-decorated ultrarunner Ellie Greenwood, who won Comrades in 2014.

Jones won last year’s Squamish 50K and Whistler 30K, and finished third at the 2018 BMO Vancouver Marathon.

Neff holds the Guinness World Record for fastest marathon while pushing a stroller (2:21:22), set with his daughter Alessandra at the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

(Neff also held the half-marathon stroller record for a time, but his 1:11:27 from 2016 was eclipsed in 2017.) Neff is from Ontario but lives and trains in Houston, Texas.

(06/03/2019) Views: 951 ⚡AMP
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Comrades Marathon

Comrades Marathon

Arguably the greatest ultra marathon in the world where athletes come from all over the world to combine muscle and mental strength to conquer the approx 90kilometers between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, the event owes its beginnings to the vision of one man, World War I veteran Vic Clapham. A soldier, a dreamer, who had campaigned in East...

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80-year-old Denis McKee is set to run his fourth 5K at Tamarack in Ottawa

80 years old, McKee will be running the 5K at the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend on Saturday at 4 p.m.

“It’s good for you, but it’s hard work … I think there’s a payoff. I’m still here, that’s one thing,” McKee said. “I feel good about it after I’ve done it. I’m tired … but I feel like I’ve accomplished something.”

Exercise was reintroduced to his life after he got into a car accident in 2013.  Luckily, he could turn to his daughters, Heather McKee and Nancy Fay, for some motivation.

“I felt I had to do something to get training because of the pain … I saw Heather, who started (running half marathons) in her early 40s … and my other daughter, Nancy, has been trekking … the Himalayas, the Andes,” McKee said. “I guess they inspired me.”

In 2016, he tried exercising again. Currently, he heads to the gym for an hour most mornings. He hits the treadmill and does some other leg-strengthening exercises.

“I do it because it feels OK for me. I don’t train so much for races. I just do the exercise. Racing is the cream on the pie,” he said. Though this year’s Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend won’t be his first run, it’s his first since turning 80.

In October 2017, he ran his first 5K during the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. McKee said he was nervous at the time.

“I was embarrassed to be there. (I’m) tall and skinny and (didn’t feel) like (I was) in the greatest condition. (I) expected to see a whole bunch of real jocks,” he said.

All McKee wanted to do was finish, and he did. “I was quite arrogant. I was pleased with myself,” he said. “It was an amazing experience to see the people, all ages, sizes, shapes and conditions, getting out there.”

Next, he ran the 5K in last year’s Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend, then followed that up by running his third 5K back at Toronto’s Waterfront in 2018.

 

(05/24/2019) Views: 914 ⚡AMP
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Ottawa 10K

Ottawa 10K

Ottawa's course is fast, scenic and few elevation changes. Considered to be an excellent course for first timers and should provide an environment conducive to setting a PR. The Ottawa 10K is the only IAAF Gold Label 10K event in Canada and one of only four IAAF Gold Label 10Ks in the world. The Ottawa 10K attracts one of the...

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The Canadian record-holder Cam Levins has withdrawn from the London Marathon due to an injury

Canadian marathon record-holder Cam Levins announced on Tuesday evening that he is out for the 2019 London Marathon, due to an injury. 

Levins told Athletics Illustrated that he’s dealing with what he believes to be patellar tendinitis, which has prevented him from training properly since the New York Half-Marathon on March 17. 

Levins was heading into London hoping to break his own Canadian record of 2:09:25 set in October 2018 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. There he became the first Canadian to ever go under 2:10 for the marathon.

The London men’s and women’s fields are historically deep. The men’s race will feature world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge, half-marathon world record-holder Abraham Kiptum, Olympic gold medallist (in the 5,000m and 10,000m) Sir Mo Farah, and 2018 London Marathon second-place finisher Shura Kitata. 

(03/27/2019) Views: 1,005 ⚡AMP
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Virgin London Marathon

Virgin London Marathon

The London Marathon was first run on March 29, 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since 2010. It is sponsored by Virgin Money and was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and Welsh athlete John Disley. It is organized by Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) as Race Director and Nick Bitel...

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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will serve as a Canada auto-qualifier for the Olympics

Athletics Canada announced that the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon will serve as an automatic qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Canadian marathon team. 

The first Canadian man and woman across the line, provided that they have met Athletics Canada’s standard in the event, will be named to the Olympic team. While Olympic standard hasn’t been released yet, the 2019 world championship standard is 2:37 for women and 2:16 for men. 

This will be a huge draw for elite Canadian runners, and make the race within the race very interesting. The only potential issue is that the world championship marathon is only days apart from STWM, and therefore impossible for a runner to compete in both events.

Canadian marathoner Reid Coolsaet discussed the drawbacks and exciting aspects of this decision. Also, someone like Cam Levins, who should easily qualify for Tokyo may want to race Worlds in Doha (both STWM and Doha are in October). What would prepare Cam better for the Tokyo Olympics?

Another paced marathon in cool temps (he’s running London this April) or, running a championship race in hot conditions? (Tokyo is forecasted to be very hot) Otherwise Tokyo will be his first championship marathon and probably his first hot marathon.

Coolsaet jokes that he’s simply trying to convince Levins to run Doha. The past three Olympic marathon teams have been named based on time alone, taking the fastest of the runners who achieved Athletics Canada’s named standard. Creating one auto-qualifier position means that a runner who hasn’t necessarily run the fastest time, or maybe even in the top five best times, could win and make an Olympic team because they raced well on that given day. But maybe this is okay? 

(01/27/2019) Views: 1,099 ⚡AMP
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Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k Run / Walk is organized by Canada Running Series Inc., organizers of the Canada Running Series, "A selection of Canada's best runs!" Canada Running Series annually organizes eight events in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver that vary in distance from the 5k to the marathon. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half-Marathon are...

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Cam Levins will run the 2019 London Marathon in one of the deepest fields in the race's history

The complete elite lists were announced on Friday for the 2019 London Marathon and Canadian marathon record holder Cam Levins was included. London is shaping up to have one of the strongest marathon fields in the race’s history.

Levins smashed the Canadian record this October at the 2018 Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Canadian Marathon Championships, running a 2:09:25. London will only be his second marathon, but the field is very strong and could pull him to a fast finish and maybe even another Canadian record.

Levins will face world record holder Eliud Kipchoge, 2018 Chicago champion Mo Farah and 2018 London runner-up Shura Kitata. The men’s marathon will be extremely competitive. With eight men who’ve run under 2:05:00, if Levins has a good day, he could do something very special at this race.

(01/20/2019) Views: 754 ⚡AMP
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Rick Rayman marks 40 years of running every day, and he’s planning his next marathon, the Miami Marathon

Yesterday in Toronto, Rick Rayman, 72, marked 40 years of running every day. He celebrated with his friend Steve DeBoer, 64, of Rochester, Minn., who travelled to Toronto to mark the occasion with him, with–what else?–a short run. Both men occupy high positions on the Streak Runners International site–Rayman is #2 on the international list, and DeBoer, 64, who has a 47.5-year streak going, is #3 on the US list. 

(Rayman is considerably ahead of the next person on the international list, Tyler Brett Forkes, who is also Canadian, and whose streak is at 27.9 years.)

Rayman’s streak began in 1978, but not with any real intention behind it. Then his friend Brian Williams, at the time a sportscaster with CBC television, commented on the air one evening that his friend Rick Rayman had run every day for 278 days. 

”That’s what made me think, why don’t I keep going?” says Rayman, who is Director of Student Life at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Dentistry, and still teaches three days a week. So what constitutes a streak? How far do you actually have to run every day for it to count?

According to the streak site, the answer is one mile. Rayman’s personal standard slightly higher: 30 minutes minimum. But he often runs for an hour or more, and longer on weekends.

More impressive than that is the fact that he has run every edition of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, which celebrated 29 years this year–and that was Rayman’s 365th marathon. (And his 13th in 2018 alone.)

“I remember when there were only 600 runners, and it finished at the Flatiron building,” says Rayman. He’s planning his next marathon, the Miami Marathon. Rayman tells us that many streakers plan when to end their streaks, so they aren’t forced to stop due to injury. Not him.

“I plan to run until I can’t any more.”

(12/11/2018) Views: 1,127 ⚡AMP
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70-year-old Gene Dykes has been named USATF Athlete of the Week

Gene Dykes from Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania set an American masters 70-74 record in the marathon to earn USATF Athlete of the Week. Dykes, 70, won the 70-74 age group in the WMA Marathon Championships at the Scotiabank Toronto Marathon, running 2:55:18 to take more than two minutes off his own American record. He was also only 30 seconds off the world 70-74 best, set by Canadian legend Ed Whitlock. Dykes and Whitlock are the only two men over 70 to have broken three hours in the marathon.  Gene wrote this on FB before the race, "On Sunday I will be running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and the big goal is to beat one of the most revered marathon records on the books - Ed Whitlock's M70-74 age group record of 2:54:48, which he ran in 2004 at the ripe old age of 73.  If all goes well, it will probably be a nail-biter. I've been training hard for about eight weeks and training has gone well." (10/25/2018) Views: 1,874 ⚡AMP
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Gene Dykes is only the second person 70 plus to run a sub three hour marathon

70-year-old Gene Dykes, of Philadelphia, only missed breaking Ed Whitlock‘s 70-74 age group record of 2:54:48 at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon yesterday by 34 seconds. Dykes is still the only other person in the world besides Whitlock to run a sub-3 marathon at the age of 70. It happened the first time earlier this year at the Rotterdam Marathon on April 8, just a few days after Dykes turned 70 on April 3. He ran 2:57. “My daughter contacted an Amsterdam newspaper and they splashed my picture on the front page,” Dykes said, joking that “you can get anything you want if you have a lot of chutzpah.” Dykes sets a string of records and it happened again Sunday (Oct 21), with Dykes’ 2:55:18 finish at Scotiabank, just shy of Whitlock’s record. Dykes only took up marathon running at age 58, and he only started breaking records last year, when he broke seven USATF age-group records in a single track race: the 15K, 10 mile, 20K, 25K, 30K, 20 mile, and 2-hour records. Also last year, he was one of only 13 people to run the “triple crown” of 200-mile trail ultramarathons, consisting of the Bigfoot 200, the Tahoe 200, and the Moab 240. And he was the oldest finisher in each. (10/23/2018) Views: 1,391 ⚡AMP
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Canada’s Cam Levins breaks Jerome Drayton’s national marathon Record in Toronto

Cam Levins had the marathon debut of his life Sunday (Oct 21) at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, crossing the finish line in 2:09:22 and breaking Jerome Drayton’s Canadian national record of 2:10:09 in the process. That record comes with a $43,000 (CAD) payday–$1,000 for every year the record has stood. Levins finished fourth . Kenya’s Benson Kipruto, 27, was the overall winner clocking 2:07:21, with Mimi Belete of Bahrain winning the women’s marathon and breaking the course record of 2:22:43.  Cam was certain a record was within his grasp at the 40K mark. The final two kilometers went by so fast for him that it seemed like a sprint. “It was pretty much a blur, especially the last half-kilometre,” Levins said. “Everything was flying by at that point."  The 29-year-old from Black Creek, B.C., did his best to focus on the finish line where his wife, Elizabeth, mother, Barb, and father, Gus, were waiting.  He eclipsed a national record by former long-distance champion Jerome Drayton – and by a substantial 44 seconds.   “It is such an old record, it is nice to be the one to take it down,” Mr. Levins said. “It’s a good one to check off the list." (10/22/2018) Views: 1,164 ⚡AMP
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Jerome Drayton's Canadian marathon record of 2:10:09 has stood for nearly 43 years

 Jerome Drayton's mark of 2:10:28 from the 1975 Fukuoka Marathon is the current national Canadian record. Drayton, who lives in Toronto, is 73 years-old now. "Two-ten is obviously a good time," remarked two-time Canadian Olympic marathoner Reid Coolsaet, who came close to Drayton's record at the 2015 BMW Berlin Marathon where he ran 2:10:28. Speaking at a press conference here this morning in advance of Sunday's Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon he added, "[But], especially after Eliud Kipchoge's record (2:01:39) we need a faster national record. With guys like Cam stepping up to the marathon, it's just a matter of time before it goes." "Cam," of course, is Cameron Levins, the 29 year-old Canadian Olympian who holds the national record of 27:07.51 for 10,000m. A former Nike Oregon Project athlete who now represents Hoka One One, Levins will be making his long-awaited marathon debut here this Sunday. He'll be running primarily for the Athletics Canada national title, but with a CAD 43,000 bonus (USD 32,800) on the line for taking down Drayton's mark, the record is definitely on Levins's mind. His 10,000m best is equivalent to a 2:06:38 marathon by using one popular conversion formula. "I'm in great shape," Levins told the media here today, looking relaxed in a hooded sweatshirt, his hands folded in his lap. "I'm ready to attack the Canadian record." Levins, who was notorious for running exceptionally high mileage during his NCAA career at Southern Utah University, stuck with a high-mileage diet for this race, too. He estimated that he averaged 168 miles (270 kilometers) per week, splitting his time between his sea level home in Portland, Ore., and the high altitude of Cedar City, Utah, where he lived and trained in college. He said he adapted well to marathon training after an uncertain start. "I was a little nervous about getting into the new kind of training," Levins told Race Results Weekly. "I mean, I'm into it now. I know I'm going to do more beyond this. I can see it becoming, just, what I do." But first, he had to get through Sunday's race. Long-time race director Alan Brookes has assembled one of his best elite fields led by two-time race winner Philemon Rono of Kenya (2:06:52 PB), 2012 Olympic Marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda (2:06:33), 2017 Seoul Marathon runner-up Felix Kandie of Kenya (2:06:03), and New Zealand record holder Jake Robertson (2:08:26). Levins, who said he will run with the second group, made sure he put enough long runs which included very specific goals. As a track runner, his long runs were mostly just for adding miles, he said, at an easy pace. (10/20/2018) Views: 933 ⚡AMP
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Jake Robertson has been training hard in Kenya and is focused on running very fast at Canada’s Waterfront Marathon Oct 21

What an amazing year it has been for Jake Robertson, a New Zealand who has been training in Kenya for the last ten years.  Jake started off the year in Houston where he won the half marathon there in 60:01.  Many did not know him before that race and in fact he had to get himself there to run the race.  This would soon change.  At the Lake Biwa marathon in Japan he clocked 2:08:26, a new NZ national Record.  Then he won the Crescent City 10k with a very fast 27:28 blowing away the field.  Next up was the Commonwealth Games 10000m on the track.  He pushed the pace and finished in 27:32. Then there was Beach to Beacon in Portland, Maine.  In hot weather he wins clocking 27:38.  Most recently he broke one hour for the half running second to Mo Farah clocking 59:57.  Jake posted today, “I’ve trained hard, I’m ready.  I’m coming to Canada for something special on Sunday October 21st.  I am running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. If you’re not running I hope you’re cheering us on, come down.”  Jake’s training in Kenya has been going well and weather permitting he is ready to run very fast in Toronto.  (10/12/2018) Views: 1,362 ⚡AMP
by Bob Anderson
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Tsegaye Mekonnen from Ethiopia, is set to compete at Toronto Marathon

Tsegaye Mekonnen’s marathon debut four years ago stunned running aficionados across the world as the Ethiopian youngster won the Dubai Marathon in 2:04:32, the fastest time in history by an U20 athlete. Still only 23 years old, Mekonnen has confirmed he will race the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 21, thereby earning the distinction of being the fastest entrant to ever run this IAAF Gold Label event. “It’s been going well and I feel like I am in a good shape right now,” said Mekonnen. “Toronto is a big race and I’ve been preparing for it. I have spent three months in my build-up and so I hope to run a good race. “I’ve been running at a high altitude – between 2,500-3,000m – so that I could adapt myself to tough conditions and I’ve been running 180-200km (100-120 miles) per week.” Since his breakthrough performance four years ago, Mekonnen has shown flashes of brilliance such as his third-place finish at the 2016 Dubai Marathon in 2:04:46 and a 2:07:26 victory at the 2017 Hamburg Marathon. In a country where children grow up celebrating the success of Ethiopian legends such as Derartu Tulu, Haile Gebrselassie, Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele, he was exposed to running very early and earned a place on Ethiopia’s team for the IAAF World Junior Championships Barcelona 2012. He finished fifth in the 5000m final there, but, unlike others who would develop their track potential, Mekonnen quickly switched to road racing. "To my knowledge there were not many track races in that time and I couldn't find the right people to bring me to those races,” he remembers. “So, I made the decision to compete in the road races. Demadonna Management encouraged me to become a marathon runner and it was the right decision for me, looking back now. Mekonnen is fully aware he will face strong competition in Toronto, including Philemon Rono, the two-time defending champion, New Zealand’s Jake Robertson and 2012 Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, among others. He edged Kiprotich in Hamburg by a mere five seconds. (10/04/2018) Views: 1,064 ⚡AMP
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Mimi Belete from Bahrain will debut at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

As marathon debuts go, Mimi Belete’s might have gone unnoticed in Hamburg last March but for the fact she earned herself third place in this world class event in a very good time of 2:26:06. No one was more surprised than her coach Getaneh Tessema, as she had battled a flareup of a nagging hamstring injury for much of the race and would have been well served to drop out. What could she have run if not for her impediment? The world is about to find out as the 30-year-old, who now represents Bahrain, has turned her attention to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, October 21st, an IAAF Gold Label race. “For a long time I was training for the short distances and now I want to get a good time in the marathon,” she explains. “I have been with Getaneh almost one year and he advises me after training to rest well as well as to keep working hard.” “I was happy with my performance in Hamburg. I could have run faster but I had a hamstring problem. I want to get my best time in Toronto.” Belete’s path to Canada’s largest city has been a circuitous one. Though she was born in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, she and her younger sister Almensh left their homeland and sought political asylum in Belgium while still in their teens. (09/27/2018) Views: 1,007 ⚡AMP
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Jess Trengove from Australia is set to participate at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

High altitude training has become a popular method of marathon preparation, so heads were turned when Australia’s Jessica Trengove decided to spend four months in Hilversum Holland – elevation 15m. The two-time Commonwealth bronze medalist expects this break with convention will help pave the way to success at the 2018 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon October 21. “It’s basically a trip I had planned with my partner Dylan (Stenson) back in January of this year,” the 31-year-old explains. “We decided we’d like to go to Europe for the Australian winter for a life experience and also because Dylan wanted to do some track races. We also have a couple of friends getting married here. So we decided to bite the bullet and come over for what will be four months in total. “We spent some time in St Moritz (Switzerland) at high altitude in late July. That was fantastic, I have done quite a lot of altitude work in the last two years – in an (altitude simulating) tent at home. So I have got quite a lot of altitude training under my belt but I won’t be doing any in the lead up to the Toronto race.” Clearly, the Aussie subscribes to the ‘sleep high, train low’ maxim which many exercise physiologists have lauded the past few decades. Even world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe famously used to sleep in a high-altitude simulator tent on occasion. With 11 marathons to her credit including two Olympic and two IAAF World Championships appearances, along with her Commonwealth performances, Trengove is well experienced at the international level. A year ago, she raced to a commendable 9th place at the IAAF World Championships in London before claiming her second Commonwealth bronze medal on home soil in April of this year. Most recently, on July 1st, she finished 2nd at the Gold Coast Marathon in a new personal best of 2:26:31. (09/23/2018) Views: 875 ⚡AMP
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John Korir whose older brother Wesley Korir won the Boston Marathon in 2012, joins elite roster at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

John Korir, 22, has announced he will join the elite roster at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 27. John is the younger brother of Wesley Korir, who won the Boston Marathon in 2012, and who represented Kenya at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Wesley is also a former Member of Parliament in Kenya. younger Korir debuted the marathon at Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend this spring, where he was way out in front just a few kilometres from the finish line. Ultimately Korir was overtaken by Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia, the course record-holder, and finished in second place with a time of 2:09:14. The two brothers have trained together in Louisville, Kentucky. Korir will be welcomed by the family of his sister-in-law, Tarah McKay-Korir, who live in southern Ontario. Tarah and Wesley are the founders of the Kenyan Kids Foundation, one of STWM’s charity partners. Korir joins two-time defending champion Philemon Rono, New Zealand’s Jake Robertson, and our very own Reid Coolsaet on the start line at Scotia on October 21. (09/21/2018) Views: 1,010 ⚡AMP
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The Women’s elite field at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon just got stronger

Ethiopia’s representation at this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon just got stronger with the addition of Amane Beriso to the elite women’s field. With a personal best of 2:20:48, recorded when finishing second at the 2016 Dubai Marathon, the Ethiopian has the fastest personal best of any woman who has ever lined up at this IAAF Gold Label road race. And it is apparent she also possesses the mindset to challenge her compatriot and defending champion, Marta Megra. Victory is her primary objective, though she warns her rivals that the Toronto course record of 2:22:43, held jointly by Kenyan Sharon Cherop and Koren Jelala Yal of Ethiopia, could also be in jeopardy when the race goes off on 21 October 21. “Absolutely, nothing is impossible, I believe,” says Beriso, who celebrates her 27th birthday on 13 October. “I think with Marta Megra it’s going to be a little difficult, but it is possible and I am in it to win it.” “We have one month of training remaining, so I am willing to take on any challenge in front of me and I will try to improve the course record.” This is no idle boast. Besides her brilliant run in Dubai a year ago, Beriso ran 2:22:15 in Prague in May 2017 which earned her second place in that IAAF Gold Label event. It was another eye-catching performance and if it wasn’t for an ankle injury which plagued her over the past year, she may have piled up additional credentials. Now healthy and fully fit after seeking treatment in Germany, she looks ahead to the battle for glory and an $80,000 pay day. Despite having twice run well under the Toronto Waterfront course record, she is a novice at the distance. Dubai, in fact, was her debut. (09/20/2018) Views: 985 ⚡AMP
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The Toronto Waterfront Marathon elite field is lead by last year's winner Philemon Rono

Philemon Rono, will be aiming for third Toronto title. He made further history a year ago when he also ran the fastest marathon ever on Canadian soil. His time of 2:06:52 was also a personal best. “I’m very happy to come to Toronto again,” said the 27-year-old. “What comes to my mind is that it was a nice race (last year) because I set my personal best and it was a good chance for me. I took the lead between 32 and 35K and I said to myself ‘today is my day’ and I felt good,” Rono reminisced.   Under the guidance of coach Patrick Sang, the 1992 Olympic steeplechase silver medallist, Rono has thoroughly blossomed. Sang’s training team includes a large group of elite marathon runners represented by Netherlands-based Global Sports Communication, including world record holder Eliud Kipchoge. They are also members of the NN Running Team, a unique professional group sponsored by NN, an insurance and asset management company.  "I am really happy, training hard and looking forward to competing in this big race in Toronto,” said Kiprotich, who also won the marathon title at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, joining Ethiopia’s Gezehegne Abera as the only man to ever win both major competitions.  (09/18/2018) Views: 1,007 ⚡AMP
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Ethiopia's Shura Kitata runs fastest half in US and Linden are winners at Rock ’N’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

Fall marathon season is in full swing, and the elites have started their tune-up races in preparation. So far, it’s been successful: Reigning Boston Marathon champion Desiree Linden took first at the Rock ’N’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon this weekend. The women’s field was stacked, and included Linden, Sarah Sellers, who finished second at Boston, and Kellyn Taylor. In the race, Linden was neck and neck with Taylor, until Linden pulled away late. Linden topped the podium with a time of 1:11:49, while Taylor took second with a 1:12:07. Taylor captured the attention of the running world in June when she won the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota in 2:24:28, the seventh-fastest marathon time ever for an American woman. The men’s race was won by Ethiopia's Shura Kitata in a stunning 59:17.  This is the fastest half marathon run in the United States and the 6th best winning time in the world in the last 12 months.  Parker Stinson finished second, in 1:03:02, and Canada’s Cam Levins was third, in 1:03:10. Cam Levins also raced Philadelphia as a tune-up, in his case for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 21. Stinson will run Chicago on October 7. (09/17/2018) Views: 1,010 ⚡AMP
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Meselech Beyene of Ethiopia aiming to capture another title at the Beijing Marathon

The 24-year-old Beyene enjoyed a comfortable solo lead in the final 10 kilometers en route to her 2:27:44 victory last year, one minute shy of her personal best set six months earlier in Barcelona. It will be the third race of the year for Beyene following a third place finish in Houston with a season’s best of 2:27:21 in January and a second place showing at the Vienna City Marathon in 2:29:51 three months later. Beyene will once again face a deep field in Beijing, as she did here last year, which includes several sub-2:25 runners including the 26-year-old Sado. The Ethiopian achieved her career best of 2:24:16 at the 2015 Toronto Waterfront Marathon, one year after her 2:30:03 victory in Beijing, where she ended a 22-year winning streak by local runners in the women’s race. Although she failed to dip under the 2:30 the past two years, Sado proved her competitiveness in Xiamen this January as she shrugged off the heavy rain and overcame a stomach problem in the latter stages to win her second title there in 2:26:41. Beyene and Sado are more familiar with the course that stretches from the landmark Tian’anmen Square and ends outside the National Stadium, better known as the “Birds Nest”, but the top favorite should be Kenya’s Valary Jemeli Aiyabei. The 27-year-old is the fastest woman on paper with a career best of 2:20:53 from her third finish at the 2017 Berlin Marathon. Prior to that performance in the German capital, the rising Kenyan emerged triumphant in four straight marathons in Eldoret, Barcelona, Valencia and Prague, improving her PB on each occasion. Her winning marks in Valencia and Prague remains as the course records and she also proved her worth in 2018 with a 2:22:48 clocking in Nagoya where she finish second. The field also includes two sub-2:22 runners, Mulu Seboka and Amane Gobena, who are both from Ethiopia. Gobena recorded her PB of 2:21:51 in Tokyo two years ago while Seboka set her lifetime best of 2:21:56 in Dubai in 2015. The duo will both arrive in Beijing with high spirits following their newly claimed titles this year in Mumbai and Dalian respectively. (09/15/2018) Views: 973 ⚡AMP
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Canada's second fastest marathoner Reid Coolsaet is eyeing Jerome Drayton's record

Reid Coolsaet is the fastest Canadian in the field at this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. It’s a race Reid knows well having run it several times before. In 2011 he qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics by running 2:10:55. He has since lowered his PB to 2:10:26 making him Canada’s second fastest ever marathoner. The two-time Olympian, Coolsaet has had his eye on Jerome Drayton’s 2:10:09 Canadian record for some time. And no Canadian has run Scotiabank–or any other marathon on Canadian soil–faster. Coolsaet set that record (2:10:55) here in 2011. An interesting coincidence: Drayton’s record was set in 1975 at Fukuoka, Japan, a race Coolsaet has run twice, achieving an excellent time here in 2016 (2:10:55–the same time he ran at Scotia in 2011). With a PB of 2:10:28, set at the Berlin Marathon in 2015, Coolsaet has been tantalizingly close to this goal for a while. He’s had to be patient through a series of setbacks, most significantly a painful foot condition in early 2017 that took him out of competition for almost a year. He came back in time for the Canadian National Cross-Country Championships in November, placing ninth.   Jerome Drayton has held the Canadain record since 1969.  Jerome won the Fukuoka Marathon in 1969, 1975, and 1976, as well as the Boston Marathon in 1977. He  has held the Canadian record since 1969, after breaking the then record of 2:18:55 set by Robert Moore a month earlier. (09/13/2018) Views: 1,212 ⚡AMP
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2012 Olympic champion Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich will target fast time in Toronto

Over its decades-long history, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon has been graced by some of the world’s greatest marathoners, but never an Olympic champion. That will all change on October 21, when Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich will race in this IAAF Gold Label event. The 2012 Olympic marathon champion will accompany two-time Toronto champion Philemon Rono from their mutual training base in Iten, Kenya in what should be an intense battle between the two accomplished marathon runners. The pair are both friends and training partners, but each will want to take home the CAD$30,000 first-place prize money. “I am really happy and training hard and looking forward to competing in this big race in Toronto,” says Kiprotich, who also won the marathon title at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, joining Ethiopia’s Gezehegne Abera as the only men to ever win both major competitions. “I was speaking with Rono and I asked him what is the course like,” he says of the man who set a Canadian all-comers’ record of 2:06:52 in Toronto a year ago. “He said the course is good and nice. I was telling him if we go fast and run the first half in 63 minutes, we can push at the end to 2:05. He told me it is possible.” Kiprotich’s major championship success is outstanding and all the more remarkable since he chose to make Iten his training base. There he lives in the camp built by Dutch based management company Global Sport Communications with a group which includes not only Rono but the world’s No.1 marathon runner, Eliud Kipchoge. They are coached by 1992 Olympic steeplechase silver medallist Patrick Sang. (09/13/2018) Views: 1,021 ⚡AMP
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