What a great day at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half Marathon and 5km.
On the elite side, Canadian Eric Gillis ran a strong 2:11:31, easily qualifying for the Rio Olympics in 2016. He needed a 2:12:50 to secure a spot and will join marathoner Reid Coolsaet, who booked a ticket to Rio earlier this year.
Fellow Canadian Lanni Marchand also qualified for Rio 2016 with her 2:28:09. That was just nine seconds off her Canadian record time set at last year’s event. Krista Duchene, who co-hosted the STWM Livestream also qualified earlier this year for Canada.
It was a great day for the Koole family too.
I paced our daughter Lindsey in the 5km to an impressive 30:15 today. That’s a new personal best for her in the 5km by 34 seconds. She also raised over $1,455 for the Fragile X Research Foundation of Canada, a cause very near and dear to our hearts.
In the half marathon, wife Ginny ran a great race, finishing with a personal best of 2:20:42 after a tough year of running through a heel injury she first picked up training for the 2014 Chicago Marathon.
Toronto Embraces its Gold Medal Race
It was also great to see the city further embracing its marathon. This was the first year the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon achieved IAAF Gold Label status, indicating that it is a world-class event in every regard.
Crowds were strong, and it seemed the usual complaints about traffic and other inconvenience was less noticable. The Toronto Star and CP24 still focused too much on a pair of medical indicents rather than the story of the two Canadians who qualified for Rio, but that might change next year when more Torontonians are introduced to some of our amazing Canadian marathoners during the Summer Olympics.
On the bright side, the 6pm evening newscasts devoted plenty of time to the many stories of the day, including the millions of dollars raised for various charities and the personal stories of some of the tens of thousands of runners who took part in the events today.
All in all, a fantastic day for running in Toronto. Congratulations to everyone who was out on course today!