The 30th annual Toronto Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon took place on Sunday, October 20th, 2019. As part of the media team, we all got there pretty early at around 7:15am. To my surprise, there were already a lot of runners there warming up. During the first wave, there were so many elite runners, including previous championship holders who were lined up and all looked nervous and excited to start their 42km race. As soon as the mayor John Tory blew the horn, the race began.
I estimated that there were probably over a hundred runners each wave. During the race, I saw some runners just causally throwing their jackets to the sidelines, and there were volunteers picking up after them. I was confused at first, but then I learned that during the first 2k, runners were allowed to throw away any clothing that they didn’t want. Then, these clothing would be sold to Value Village at low prices and the money raised would be all donated to charities. After the race was over, I saw volunteers picking up piles and piles of clothes. Although it was still chilly at the time, I felt warm and impressed. This small action could benefit the lives of so many others.
In addition, I had the honour to talk to Mr. John Tory, Mayor of the City of Toronto. I learned that over 25,000 runners participated in this marathon . In fact, a marathon such as this is an important event for Toronto, because it not only puts our city on the map and attracts hundreds of thousands of athletes from all over the world, but also raises millions of dollars for charity. Mr. Tory also believes that sporting events bring great economic activities to the city of Toronto. Mr. Tory revealed that the marathon this year was expected to bring in about $30 million in economic activities to Toronto.
This marathon also served as the official qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics next year. Two runners met the minimum time and were able to qualify. Philemon Rono placed first and finished the full marathon at 2 hours and 5 minutes. Right behind him was Lemi Berhanu of Ethiopia, the 2016 Boston Marathon champion. He finished merely 9 seconds later than Rono.
I couldn’t believe that they were running nonstop for more than two straight hours! What was even more impressive was that they must have been training for many hours a day just to prepare for the two hours. Running long distance requires discipline, determination and dedication – three important traits that are also essential in life.
After I got home, I told my mom that I wanted to start running, too! Running a marathon is definitely not about the short-term reward. It is rather a long-term journey that requires goal and vision. Let’s face it, it would be easy to give up after running for a few minutes when you get tired or after training for a few days and you get bored. That is why I wish to challenge myself and start to run.