FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: April Hanna
Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on track for record numbers.
- Registrations are up 270%
- New prize purse of $38,000 attracts top international field to marathon
- World's oldest marathoner, 92-year old Fauja Singh from England, to
attempt new world record
Toronto, Canada (August 9,2003) - With seven weeks to go, the Scotiabank
Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Half is riding the wave of the "second boom
in running" towards record numbers on September 28th. It is also shaping up
to have a strong, competitive field. And a new world record is in the
To date, despite the pall of the SARS epidemic that still hangs over
Canada's #1 city, there are over 1,300 registered for the 2 events,
compared to only 355 at the same time last year, and the marathon component
in particular is growing.
"Last year, we had 5,100 runners, with 900 of them in the full marathon,"
says Race Director Alan Brookes. "This year, the entries so far are triple,
and the ratio of full to half marathoners has narrowed dramatically from
1:4+ to 1:2".
Now entering its 4th year, the reasons as to why the Toronto Waterfront is
becoming Canada's fastest growing marathon are clear, according to Brookes.
"We've always had the great, flat and scenic Waterfront course, great
medals and long-sleeve shirts. The fundamental stuff. This year, we've
added a full-time Event Manager to work on building up the event, and
Scotiabank have increased advertising and the prize money in the marathon
from $5,000 in 2002, to $38,000 this year."
For September 28th, the event now has a new Race Hotel at the Renaissance
SkyDome, a much-expanded Expo at the Toronto Convention Centre next door, a
mass "Charity Challenge" component, and a cracking good marathon race in
Drawn by the fast course and the cash, both of last year's winners will be
back-Ottawa's Stephane Gamache and Toronto's Nicole Stevenson. While
Stevenson will be tough to beat if she runs in the low 2:30s range, as
anticipated, Gamache will be very hard pressed to repeat. He'll be over
matched by Kenyans Peter Ntabo and David Kariuki. Ntabo ran 28:01 to win
the Sporting Life 10k in May and has a marathon best of 2:11:23. In 2002,
Kariuki ran 2:12:27 in Kocice, and 2:14:55 in the heat of Dubai. They will
be pressed by the pride of the Caribbean, St.Vincent's Pamenos Ballentyne,
a consistent 2:15 marathoner in less- than-ideal, hot weather conditions.
A second group is already forming to run in the 2:17-2:23 range, including
Victoria's Jim Finlayson who marathon-debuted at Ottawa in May with a
2:19:16, fellow Vancouver Islander Steve Osaduik from Nanaimo, Gamache, and
other members of "Team Caribbean", Victor Ledgers of St.Lucia, and Cantius
Thomas of Trinidad. Gamache, Finlayson and Osaduik will be making special
preparations by attending the Waterfront Marathon Altitude Camp in
Albuquerque from August 17th to September 7th.
But to underscore the fact that the Toronto Waterfront is for all runners,
regardless of pace, the event has added an early start this year. Led by
Ray Bielawski, "Ray's Runners" will start at 6:15am, 75 minutes early,
giving slower runners the opportunity to be on the course for 6 hours and
45 minutes. Ray will be accompanied by the world's oldest marathoner, 92
year-old Fauja Singh of Ilford, England. Singh, who already holds the
world record for 90+ [6 hours 11 minutes 9 seconds], has selected Toronto
Waterfront to try for a new world record and a sub 6-hour finish.
According to The Times, "after showing a clean pair of heels to almost
10,000 younger men and women [at the London Marathon on April 13]… Singh
has set his sights on Toronto".
Set yours today atwww.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com.
... there's a distance for EVERYONE!
Marathon (42.2km), Half-Marathon (21.1km) and 5km Run / Walk Wheelchair