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Race previews TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon

01 July 2024, 12pm

A sense of community and camaraderie permeates the city

Vibrant and inclusive

TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon
Sat 19 October 2024

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The TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon, hosted annually in October, has grown to become Canada’s premiere marathon over its 35 years in existence.

Originally established in 1990 as a Half Marathon by Race Director Alan Brookes, the event introduced a marathon distance in 2000 and has since evolved into a weekend-long celebration, bringing together the local community and visitors from around the world.

As the event has developed so has the city and its running scene. In the days leading up to the marathon one now finds a city that comes alive with a flurry of activities, from shakeout runs hosted by local run crews to engaging panel discussions at the Expo – showcasing the best of Toronto’s health, wellness and running culture.

Beginning on Friday runners and spectators have the opportunity to attend the Toronto Waterfront Marathon Expo, a bustling hub of activity hosted in Toronto’s Exhibition Place grounds. As participants pick-up their race kits and souvenir shirts – each year featuring a unique design by a Canadian artist – attendees can browse a variety of vendor stands and sponsor activations and engage with knowledgeable speakers on topics ranging from nutrition to accessibility in sport. The Expo serves as a gateway to the marathon weekend, offering participants the chance to connect with fellow runners, learn from industry experts and gear up for the race ahead.

The excitement isn’t limited to the Expo. Over the course of the weekend local businesses and neighbourhood groups play a pivotal role in the experience, offering promotions and hosting special events to welcome runners and their supporters. One can find local restaurants serving carb-loading pasta dinners, while many of the city’s café’s and shops along the route advertise preferred rates for participants and visitors. The city is finally embracing the marathon with open arms, creating a welcoming atmosphere that reflects Toronto’s vibrant and inclusive spirit.

As the Expo continues into Saturday a 5K run is hosted in the city’s downtown area, starting and finishing near City Hall. Previously hosted on Sunday in conjunction with the marathon and half marathon distances, the new date allows the event to build on the marathon’s growing popularity on Sunday, while showcasing over 150 charities engaged in the event’s annual fundraising program, the TCS Charity Challenge.

On Sunday morning a sense of community and camaraderie permeates the city. 20,000 marathon and half marathon participants begin their race in Toronto’s downtown, passing numerous local landmarks and cheer sites on their way to the city’s scenic waterfront. The flat, fast course and its dozens of cheer sites has facilitated innumerable personal best times over the years, along with some iconic performances from elite athletes and Guinness World Record holders.

Whether it’s exchanging high-fives with fellow runners along the course, cheering on friends and loved ones from the sidelines or sharing stories and laughs over post-race celebrations, the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon is a testament to the power of sport to bring people together. As the sun sets on marathon weekend the city is left buzzing with a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment. From the first-time runners who crossed the finish line to the seasoned veterans who shattered their personal bests, every participant has their own story to tell. With memories made and a sense of pride in the city and its waterfront, participants depart Toronto with a newfound appreciation for the power of running to inspire, unite, and transform lives.

The 2024 TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon is scheduled for 20 October, and spots are filling up fast.

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