FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Fauja Singh & Ed Whitlock return to 20th Anniversary
Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, September 27th, as "The Legends"
TORONTO. September 15th. Ninety-eight year old Fauja Singh and 78 year old
Ed Whitlock are confirmed to join Joan Benoit Samuelson as "The Legends" at
this year's 20th Anniversary Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on
Sunday, September 27th. Singh will run the Waterfront 5K and Whitlock the
Half-marathon [21.1km] along with a record 20,000 participants in the whole
The British Sikh and the retired Canadian mining engineer re-mapped the
limits of aging and captured the world's imagination on September 30th,
2003, when they took advantage of Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront's flat,
fast, lakeshore course to set new world records. Singh ran 5 hours 40
minutes 4 seconds for a new 90+ marathon record; Whitlock ran 2:59:10 to
set a new mark for 70+ and become the only septuagenarian on the planet to
go under the magic 3-hour barrier.
"The marathon's Greatest Day! New World Records in Berlin and Toronto,"
boomed Amby Burfoot's headlines in Runner's World magazine. "A Day for the
Whitlock and Singh astonished the world, not only expanding the limits of
what "Seniors" could do, but providing inspiration for people of all ages.
This was everyone's Granddad breaking 3-hours, and your GREAT Granddad
completing a 42km, full marathon in under 6 hours. They became "everyday
Superstars", the talk of the global running community and the toast of the
town. "A 92 year old guy called Fauja Singh just made everyone in Toronto
look like the 'Tool of the Day' today," said Q107s celebrated radio DJ,
John Derringer, on the Monday after the race.
Both Whitlock and Singh returned to Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
in 2004 for even more magic. Fauja set a new World Record for 90+ in the
Half marathon, of 2:30:02. Ed astounded the world when he took his mark
down to 2:54:49. He remains the only person over 70 to go under 3 hours.
"Ed and Fauja fever" took hold, as Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
went from 935 entries in 2003 to 1,938 in 2004. The event as a whole went
from 5,863 to 9,001.
"Not just Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, but marathoning in Canada
as a whole owes a LOT to Ed and Fauja," says Race director Alan Brookes.
"Today, STWM is arguably the most exciting marathon in Canada with an IAAF
Silver Label and global recognition. But it began with Ed and Fauja. In the
US, the UK, Germany, Japan, Korea, France, there's a mystique about 'the
marathon'. It's become THE life-achievement of the everyday person in our
era. That certainly hasn't been the case in Canada, where we've focused
more on Participaction, doing a 10K or maybe a Half marathon. But Ed and
Fauja are about excellence. About the pursuit of excellence regardless of
age or other perceived limitations. 'Don't underestimate yourself' is Ed's
message. YOU can do a marathon, and put it on your list of the Top 10
Things you have to do in your life. Don't be the Tool of the Day! That's
the spirit of our event, and we're proud that Ed and Fauja have infused
STWM with this."
On September 27th, Fauja Singh will be joined in the Waterfront 5K by Amjit
Singh and Amrik Singh, both British Sikhs over 80 years old. A large posse
of children from the Guru Gubind Singh Children's Foundation will also
accompany their nonagenarian hero. Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone will start
the Waterfront 5K at 10:20am in front of the Direct Energy Centre at
Exhibition Place, then jump in and walk the 5K to Nathan Phillips Square
for his neighbourhood charity, St. Christopher House. Deputy Premier,
George Smitherman, who has previously completed both the Waterfront
Marathon and the Half, will run the 5K for his neighbourhood charity, the
Cabbagetown Youth Centre.
Mayor David Miller will join Ed Whitlock and Joan Benoit Samuelson in the
Half marathon, running for a family charity. Councillor Karen Stintz and
Ontario Liberal Chief Whip Mike Colle will be running the full 42km
marathon. Colle completed last year's Waterfront Marathon [4:59:24] for the
Foundation Fighting Blindness -- his chosen charity again this year --
while Councillor Stintz is going the distance for Providence Healthcare
EVERYONE in the GTA is invited to come out to "Run, Pledge, and Cheer" as a
participant or spectator at this year's 20th Anniversary Scotiabank Toronto
Waterfront Marathon, Half & 5K, Sunday September 27th. Combined, the record
20,000 heroes expect to raise more than $1.5 million for 99 local charities
on the day, and maybe set a few more new records. Online entry and
pledging, plus further information on the best locations to watch, is at