Toronto

More than 5,000 in Waterfront Marathon brave cold to raise funds for charity

More than 5,000 runners in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon braved the cold on Sunday to raise funds for nearly 200 local charities.

Money raised from marathon 'will reach into every corner of the GTA,' says race director

Runners make their way through the start of the Toronto Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon in Toronto on Sunday. (Cole Burston/Canadian Press)

More than 5,000 runners in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon braved the cold on Sunday morning to raise money for local charities.

Race director Alan Brookes said a quarter of all participants in the 29th annual marathon took part in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, a fundraising program, and a total of 191 charities will benefit from the more than $3 million raised.

"The money they raise will reach into every corner of the GTA," Brookes said in Nathan Philips Square.

"This is a good morning. It is a little chilly, but it's still good for running. There's lots of company out there to keep each other warm and to encourage each other on."

A total of 25,220 runners from 76 countries, all 10 Canadian provinces and 37 U.S. states registered to take part in the five kilometre run, half marathon and marathon races. 

'Every dime' to go to charity of choice

Brookes said Scotiabank pays all transaction fees, which means all of the money raised goes directly to the charities.

"Runners know that every dime, every dollar that they raise through their runs today, 100 cents of every dollar, will go to the charity," he said.

Examples of charities supported by the marathon include:

  • Project Canoe, a Canadian group that enables young people to take canoe trips in northern Ontario and recreational programs in Toronto.
  • Right to Play, a global organization that attempts to teach children in need through educational games.
  • MitoCanada, a not-for-profit organization focused on mitochondrial disease.

Brookes said the Scotiabank Charity Challenge has raised more than $35 million since it started in 2003.

Running for a cause 

Evan Latsky successfully attempted the Guinness World Record for fastest half marathon while wearing full hockey equipment, with the exception of skates, in support of Right to Play. 

"I'm a huge hockey player, a huge runner, and this is a way of combining my passions for both, while doing something great for a great cause," he said.

Evan Latsky successfully attempted the Guiness World Record for fastest half marathon while wearing full hockey equipment, except for skates, in support of Right to Play. (CBC)

Before the marathon, Latsky said he believed the record was attempted about five times before with a record of two hours and four minutes. 

"It was tough. The kilometres got longer and longer, but we made it through," he said, adding that he believed he made it in an hour and 39 minutes. "I'm so happy with my time."

Sara Udow ran for Project Canoe while portaging a canoe. She said this wasn't the charity's first time at the marathon, but that they decided to change things up this year. 

Sara Udow ran for Project Canoe while portaging a canoe. She said this wasn't the charity's first time at the marathon, but that they decided to change things up this year. (CBC)

"We really feel that portaging a canoe is reflective of a marathon experience," Udow said. "You may not love it for every moment that you're doing it, but the sense of accomplishment you feel after really mirrors the portage."

Sign Guy Andy attempted to keep a soccer ball up for the five-kilometre marathon and says he finished in 87 minutes.

Sign Guy Andy attempted to keep a soccer ball up for the five-kilometre marathon and says he finished in 87 minutes. (CBC)

While he says he completed the marathon for his health, he was inspired by Canadian hero Terry Fox, and plans to do the same across the country. 

"I tried to be like Terry Fox. That's my goal. I want to be just like him," Andy said. "Once he already did it, I think I could do it just like him."

The 5K run began at 8:00 a.m., while the half marathon, at 21.1 km, and marathon, at 42.2 km., began at 8:45 a.m.

The starting line was at Queen Street W. and University Avenue, while the finish line was at Queen Street W. and Bay Street.

Brookes said the Scotiabank Charity Challenge has raised more than $35 million since it started in 2003.

With files from Muriel Draaisma