How Toronto can become a more ‘welcoming place’ for runners – and their tourism dollars

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Photo by Patrick Leung – the Ghost Race

Back in May 2017 I was invited to speak at City Hall sharing my perspective on Running Tourism in the City of Toronto. I had previously written for iRun magazine on Running Tourism, researching both the monetary benefits and social benefits for communities including Toronto, NYC, Ottawa, and Vancouver. So my perspective has came from that of a marathon runner in other countries, the research I complied for iRun, and my experiences as a leader in the Toronto run community. I was happy to share what I thought the city could do to support this sport and it’s athletes from near and afar and I was happy to continue the conversation in early 2018 as part of the working group establishing recommendations for the city council’s economic development committee. Some thoughts on that initial conversation were shared here by CBC.

On April 14th, the report that had been developed through the established working group of City Councillors, City employees, and community stake holders was released and the city council’s economic development committee voted to take a closer look at our recommendations.

Some recommendations from the working group included ideas like opening public transit earlier, having various City teams communicate more clearly and easily with race directors, and some welcoming and inviting tasks like displaying race promotional material on bus shelters, street banners, and even at the air port, as many Marathon Majors do welcoming athletes to the city and celebrating the event.

We highlight the financial benefit to the city, including a comparison of Toronto’s two marathons (and yes, only have one major race was brought up) to Marathon Majors including NYC ($36 Million CAD of $415 Million USD).

CBC did a follow up interview which I supported. You can check it out here.

As the city council’s economic development committee will be taking a closer look at these recommendations I am glad the the conversation continues and look forward to Toronto continuing to grow as an epic place to race and live.

 

2016 Race Goals

2016 is already shaping up to be a year of excitement and change. Last year I took a small step back from racing, only entering 10 races (5km x 1, 10k x 3, 15km x 1, 21k x 1, 30k x 1, and 42k x 2), which included my return to Triathlon after my first half Iron Man in 2014.

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This year I am very excited to have Tribe team up with Canada Running Series to support their Toronto races and help with an exciting new race, the Waterfront 10k. I’m excited to be in the position of Director of Ambassadors with Toronto Triathlon Festival, so look forward to having my TTF experience community based and supporting those online nd in Tribe. I will be returning to the pace team at SeaWheeze for my fourth consecutive year and will be taking over 30 members from Tribe with me – our biggest Tribe Tour yet! The NYC Marathon will be my 10th, so I’m excited to head back to the city where my marathon journey began, and to top it off, I will be making my return to Iron Man distance races with the Montreal 70.3.

If you’re looking to race more, please join me at one of the following races this 2016 season.

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Toronto Yonge St 10km

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Since January I’ve been fairly open with my 2013 goal to qualify for Boston, totally ambitious, but I’m excited to declare it and make it happen! One of my strategies to get a faster race time is to add more races to my program. How do you race faster? By running more races faster! So here I go!

One of the races that I’ve added to my list is the Canadian Running Series Toronto Yonge St 10km run. This will be my first time racing the Toronto Yonge St 10km, although living downtown I’ve cheered at it over the last couple years. It starts up Yonge and ends at Fort York, almost my back yard, so how could I not run!

So far there have been many highlights (including being asked to be one of their #DigitalChampions) but also the oh so nice downhill route to enjoy (looking forward to practicing for my goal marathon race my quick leg turn over) as well as the ton of SWAG! Hats, race shirts, two free Tune Up Training Runs through the Running Room (I’ll see you there March 10th!) and training shirts – oh my! (confessions of a swag addict here)

For me this race will be a stepping stone to my big goal, and an integral part of my Boston Qualifying training.  If you’re looking for a spring 10km, something quick and downhill, or a shorter one leading up to a spring Marathon, consider adding this one to your 2013 race schedule!

Event details:

Date: Sunday April 21, 2013
Start Time: 9:00am
Location: Yonge St, downtown Toronto
Course: Down Yonge St from north of Eglinton to west of Bathurst on Fort York Blvd
Kit Pickup & Mini-Expo: Friday Apr 19 11am–7pm
Saturday Apr 20 10am–5pm
Pickup at: Sheraton Centre Downtown Toronto, — 123 Queen Street West

Webiste:                      http://www.canadarunningseries.com/toronto10k/index.htm