Thousands of the world’s elite and recreational runners hit the pavement this weekend for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, an event that also served as a championships for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The more than 26,000 athletes from over 70 countries ran routes ranging from five to 42 kilometres.
“We often say Toronto is the world in a city. We’re welcoming the world today,” said Alan Brookes, the executive race director of the marathon.
The competition, now in its 30th year, is expected to bring $30 million in economic activity to the city, Toronto Mayor John Tory told Global News.
“To me this is a very happy event, a special event, and I hope people are happy that we’re putting ourselves on the map yet again,” Tory said.
Milton’s Benjamin Preisner finished first in the half marathon, clocking in at about 1:03.
“I mean, it kind of went as planned,” Preisner said. “I went with the front group and was able to sit with that pack there. It was really fun to be with that elite group and kind of experience that big of a race.”
Brittany Moran of Etobicoke was the first woman to complete the half marathon, achieving a personal best of 1:15.
“My race was great. I don’t know where it came from but it was awesome,” she said.
About an hour after the half marathon runners started finishing, the full marathon participants began completing the race. The first man and woman to cross were both from Kenya.
“I’m very, very happy today,” said Philemon Rono, a Kenyan flag draped over his back.
Magdelyne Masai, also from Kenya, shared a similar sentiment.
“It was just the perfect race because I conserved energy like I had planned in my head,” she said.
Placing seventh, Calgary’s Trevor Hofbauer was the first Canadian to finish the full marathon.
“My calf started to really tighten up, and that led down to my ankle and I think I have a blister on every tow, but every little bit of pain is worth it,” Hofbauer said.
Dayna Pidhoresky, who lives in vancouver, was the tenth woman to cross.
The event also served as the official Athletics Canada Marathon Trials for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics next summer. Both Hofbauer and Pidhoresky met the minimum time standard to receive automatic selection to run.
“I guess I got to book a couple fights tomorrow,” Hofbauer joked with a laugh.
The marathon also raised $3.5 million for 190 charities, according to organizers.
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